Many businesses owners in the Carondelet neighborhood of South City said they are worried about rising crime. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -
Several businesses in the Carondelet neighborhood in South City are fed up with the recent crime and gun violence in the area and say it is keeping customers away.
It follows a weekend homicide where St. Louis City Police say a suspect intentionally set a man on fire on Virginia Avenue and Bates Street. It is a busy intersection with many nearby businesses including the bar "Tin Cup." However, bartender Kitty Morrow says customers rarely seem to be making their way inside these days.
"We are really slow. We have lost a lot of business because of all the crime in this area," said Morrow.
Morrow has been a bartender for years and has a following, but she says even her regulars don't want to come by.
"They keep telling me I'm not coming down in that neighborhood until something gets done," said Morrow.
Further north along Virginia Ave., Suzanne Jackson, owner of Bark Avenue Pet Grooming, shares the same sentiment. She's saddened by all the recent crime and doesn't feel safe at work. She's considering her future options with the location of her business.
"So if it's between grooming some dogs for people I love more than anything, or making sure my daughter doesn't die driving the streets of St. Louis.....what am I going to do?" said Jackson.
Jackson has owned her pet grooming business on Virginia Ave. for 19 years. The safety of herself and customers is a priority and she says this crime has led her to take extreme precautions.
"I have a 12 gauge shotgun underneath my desk," said Jackson.
Jackson never envisioned herself leaving her home city, but she's now considering it if nothing improves in the next five years.
"We'll cross our fingers that things will improve, but if not, we have a plan to get out," said Jackson.
Meanwhile, Morrow believes Carondelet can make a comeback, and she has a plea for SLMPD to make that happen. She wants a stronger police presence.
"I know you're out there. We see you. Come out of your cop cars. Let your presence be known more," said Morrow.
This recent homicide in Carondelet happened on the northern edge of the neighborhood, boarding the Dutchtown and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods. Between the three of these neighborhoods, there have been four homicides in 2017 already.
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