Many concerned after robberies at 24-hour businesses in south St - KMOV.com

Many concerned after robberies at 24-hour businesses in south St. Louis

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SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

An early morning armed robbery at Steak 'N Shake in south St. Louis has some calling for a closer look at 24 hour businesses.

“You feel bad because people are trying to make a living working that night shift, and it’s probably not that safe,” said Denise Smith, a customer who says after talking to the manager of the diner. She wants more to be done.

At 2:30 Thursday morning, a man walked into the Steak N Shake on Hampton and pointed a gun at the employees, demanding money.

“[The manager] told us about the robbery and I just feel so bad,” said Smith.

There was no surveillance video according to police but the suspect was wearing a surgical mask, a mask similar to the one a man was wearing while robbing the 7-Eleven on Gravois on July 5.

“We’re looking at that to see if there’s a connection,” said Maj. Rochelle Jones with the South Patrol for the St. Louis Police Department.

Police already connected two different other early morning robberies at the 7-Eleven on Gravois.

“The perps are using that time because there aren’t a lot of people in the place, they’re using it to their advantage,” said Jones.

Smith says it might be time to take a look at 24-hour businesses and their security measures.

“Maybe drive through only, shatter proof glass, whatever you gotta do to step up security,” she said.

Alderwoman Beth Murphy who oversees the ward where the 7-Eleven is located says she’s aware of the safety concerns. But also says the business owner isn’t the nuisance, it’s the people robbing the store.

Maj. Jones also emphasized that point.

“Why should citizens be deprived of 24 hours business because of these suspects?” she asked.

Jones added that business can better protect their employees and customers by getting more advanced surveillance systems and training employees on how to handle these situations.

No arrests have been made in these robberies.

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