Reward offered for arrest of downtown St. Louis break-in suspects

A program is rewarding people who come forward with information regarding car break-ins in downtown St. Louis.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 11:35 AM CDT
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DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A new pilot program aims to target car break-ins across downtown St. Louis.

The initiative will offer a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects connected to break-ins in Downtown and Downtown West neighborhoods.

Greater St. Louis Inc. is donating $10,000 to St. Louis Regional Crime Stoppers to kickstart the program.

“We are pleased to provide funding for this new program and to further our commitment to making Downtown the safe, vibrant, walkable, and dynamic neighborhood at the heart of our metro,” said Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc.

During Tuesday’s Downtown Engagement and Public Safety Initiative meeting, CrimeStoppers spoke about their involvement with the initiative. While they typically offer cash rewards for more serious offenses, like felonies and homicides, the money provided by Greater St. Louis Inc. will be directed towards tips that lead to an arrest regarding car break-ins in the Downtown and Downtown West neighborhoods.

“Suspects that are getting out checking parking lots,” said Lisa Piscotta, with St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers. “We can offer the reward to any information that comes in that makes an arrest in these.”

On June 9, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) said there have been more than double the amount of reported thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles than there were this time last year. About 155 Kia vehicle thefts have been reported since January 1 of this year compared to 61 at this point in 2021. The department reported 142 stolen Hyundai vehicles since January 1, compared to 64 at this point in 2021.

“I think it’s a great incentive. I think the idea is admirable. It’s something, though, people are generally not speaking out about other kinds of crimes for fear of reprisal,” said Arnold Stricker.

Stricker has been living in the downtown area for three years. Still, he does not think this initiative will be enough to eliminate the problem of car break-ins in the downtown region altogether.

“I think it’s the responsibility of citizens who drive downtown, of parking lot owners, some surface lot parking ordinances...some follow-up enforcement of those things,” he said, “And even something done by the Circuit Attorney’s Office as far as prosecution, [which] would go a long way to really make downtown residents comfortable about that.”