Suspect accused in smash-and-grab robberies in 7 towns - KMOV.com

Suspect accused in smash-and-grab robberies in 7 towns

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Surveillance footage from the Pevely Laundromat allegedly shows the suspect robbing the change machine. (Credit: Pevely Police Department) Surveillance footage from the Pevely Laundromat allegedly shows the suspect robbing the change machine. (Credit: Pevely Police Department)
PEVELY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A smash and grab thief was caught on camera, smashing a change machine and stealing the money. But police say this serial thief's crime wave through two counties is finally over.

Police say a 28-year-old man was arrested in Arnold Friday night in connection with as many as a dozen similar crimes. The man is believed to have hit businesses in several locations throughout St. Louis County and Jefferson County including De Soto, Pevely and Festus.

The Pevely Police Department is one of the seven law enforcement agencies comparing notes about crimes that may be connected to one smash and grab suspect.

"They threw the brick right through this door and then that is where it landing and the brick was just laying here," John Toal, Bellacino’s owner, said.

Early Wednesday morning a smash-and-grab thief and his accomplice busted their way into the Bellacino's restaurant in Arnold. Surveillance video shows them dragging out a change machine with $110 worth of quarters inside.

"They had to open the door this time to get it out and once they opened the door the inside alarm went off and they scattered," Toal said.

Police believe the suspect and an accomplice were connected to similar burglaries in seven other communities. Police believe they have the same suspect on video at the Pevely Laundromat. It took so many attempts to bring down the change machine he had to stop and catch his breath. Police say he's also suspected of stealing thousands of dollars in motorcycle wheels from a truck at Midwest Motorcycle Parts.

"Two separate crimes, we never expected them to be connected but those were the two that were giving our investigations  division quite a head-scratcher," Tony Moutray, Pevely Police Department, said.

When the suspect was arrested he confessed to some of the crimes and still had some of the loot, police say.

"We recovered property from the Midwest Motorcycles theft and we recovered property from the laundromat theft as well," Moutray said.

The 28-year old suspect was released pending the application for warrants and police are still looking for his accomplice.

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