FBI assisting police to combat robberies, carjackings in South C - KMOV.com

FBI assisting police to combat robberies, carjackings in South City

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A joint task force is being formed between the FBI and St. Louis City police to combat robberies and carjackings in parts of south St. Louis.

The task force was formed in response to an uptick in robberies in the First and Second Police Districts, which covers a big portion of south St. Louis. 

"We think there are at least two or three groups who are doing these," explained Capt. Steven Mueller of SLMPD.

The St. Louis Police Department is dedicating a group of detectives to solving the recent surge in robberies.

Since July 1, police said there have been eight robberies in the First District and 13 robberies in the Second District.

They will have the assistance of FBI agents who will also be able to utilize technology to solve the crimes. including enhancing surveillance video, data mining and analytic resources, said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Steve D'Antuono.

"We are taking this very seriously and putting the weight of the federal government behind this problem," said D'Antuono. 

Between January 1 and July 1 there were 89 robberies in the First District and 100 robberies in the Second District. Police said the stats showed a decline in robberies in the First District and an increase in the Second District compared to same period in 2016.

Recently, a man was beaten and robbed in front of his home in Fox Park. The beating was caught on camera. 

Two women were also recently robbed of their purses nearby.

The FBI says they can assist in these carjackings because there is a federal statute. Federal prosecution can mean harsher sentences which they hope will act as a deterrent. 

"Our gun laws federally are little more strict and stringent than the state laws so couple that with the car jacking statue some of these people are looking at 50-60 years," said D'Antuono. 

The FBI says there isn't a federal statute for homicides which is why despite a sky rocketing murder rate in St. Louis, they don't have as much pull in that department. But they have been able to prosecute some homicides federally when there are drugs or gang violence involved. 

Just last month six people were charged federally in the shooting and car jacking of an employee at Vito's Restaurant last summer. 

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