SHREWSBURY, Mo. (KMOV) -- With a police car parked nearby and a police station on the corner, a group of thieves broke into two cars in a Shrewsbury parking lot earlier this month.
Police said the thieves took purses and wallets left in vehicles parked outside the Shrewsbury Family Aquatic Center while the victims were at the pool.
“We had an officer in the area,” said Shrewsbury Police Lt. Brian Catlett. “It just goes to show that crime can happen quick.”
By the time witnesses noticed and called police, the three suspects left in an older white car.
Since the thefts on June 10, police have been tracking the use of stolen credit cards.
Detectives are reviewing surveillance video taken from stores in St. Louis, where the cars were used.
Police have stepped up patrols around the aquatic center, but added an officer was in the area when the thefts occurred.
Catlett says visitors to the pool should avoid leaving any valuables in cars.
“If you’re at the gym, swimming pool, movie theatre, the thieves know you’re not going to be around your car for an hour, an hour and a half, two hours and they’ll take advantage,” said Catlett.