St. Louis County auto theft ring caught operating near police academy -

St. Louis County auto theft ring caught operating near police academy

ST. LOUIS COUNTY ( -- St. Louis County and Wellston Police say they’ve busted a potential multi-state auto theft ring that operating right next to a local police academy.

Police said the thieves stole five cars, two trailers and a pair of commercial lawn mowers all in a 12-hour period this week.

Officials said the suspect then took them to a GWV Hauling in Wellston near the intersection of Page Avenue and Sutter Avenue. The parts were removed and sold or the cars were crushed and sold as scrap.

St. Louis County auto theft detectives have been watching the place, which is located next to the St. Louis County Police Academy, since January. But authorities waited to pounce after a theft this week.

Lawrence Clossum said his Dodge Dakota was stolen Tuesday, but he was able to track it to the salvage yard quickly and help police get the evidence they needed to shut it down and pursue charges.

“It makes me feel good that they were able to stop them,” said Clossum. “Don’t want anybody else to be victimized.”

Police say the crooks also had a stack of car titles. After crushing a car beyond recognition they would stick a title with it and sell it for scrap, making $400 to $500 a car.

Two suspects are expected to be charged in the investigation.

The latest incident comes after News 4 told you back in April about a salvage yard in north St. Louis County that was suspected of the same crime.

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