Thefts at outdoor restaurants a concern in Delmar Loop -

Thefts at outdoor restaurants a concern in Delmar Loop

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- When you are outdoors dining at your favorite restaurant, you should not have to worry about someone swiping your wallet, cell phone, or purse from your table.  But that is exactly what is happening at the Delmar Loop.

One person, who wished to remain anonymous, described groups of teens as "sharks" making their way down busy sidewalks while customers are dining outdoors.

The University City Police Department insists the Delmar Loop is safe and said it does not have any recent reports about teens stealing from restaurant patrons.  A spokesperson said the most recent theft involved a juvenile stealing a cell phone inside a store.  The phone was later returned to the owner.

University City resident Ray Elrod said he recently dined at El Maguey restaurant on Delmar Boulevard, when someone tried to steal his phone.

"A guy walked up, tried to snatch my phone and I ended up getting in a confrontation with him," he said. "It is ridiculous that people want to do that to people who pay their money and come out to have a good time, you know?"

University City Police enforce a 9 p.m. curfew on the Delmar Loop for anyone younger than 17.  Blocks away, the City of St. Louis allows teens to stay out until midnight on the weekends.

Sources tell News 4 that as the weather warms up, there is increased concern about teens roaming about the Loop and creating trouble.

Last month, two people were shot and hundreds of teens packed the sidewalks as fights broke out.  St. Louis Police called the incident an anomaly, and afterwards both St. Louis and University City Police stepped up patrols in the area.

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