String of South City ATM holdups has residents brainstorming fixes

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 7:08 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Residents are brainstorming solutions after a string of ATM holdups in the St. Louis Hills and Southampton neighborhoods.

Two different cars were held up at gunpoint at a Bank of America location on Hampton Avenue, according to police. The first happened last Monday night, January 23, and the second happened Saturday night. Robbers held up a third car at another ATM just down the street at the Kingshighway Shopping Center. The thieves demanded the victims turn over money.

Residents like Karen Adams say the robberies are hitting close to home.

“When I’m walking, I just know to stay on alert and look around,” Adams said. “There has been a lot of crime and break-ins of the cars.”

Police say a team of three committed both robberies at the Hampton location, but they don’t know if it was the same three people. The robbers wore face coverings to hide from security cameras.

The St. Louis Hills Neighborhood Association is working to combat a recent spike in crime in the neighborhood. Treasurer Tom Bene says the neighborhood ran a pilot program last year with police for directed overnight patrols. Now, they are looking at what it would take to make the project permanent.

“We’re a tight-knit community,” Bene said. “Everyone is trying to look out for each other and help... It’s a program that would run in the evening hours, when we are all asleep, to patrol the area.”

The initiative would have to be part of a Special Business District, many of which already exist in other neighborhoods like the Central West End. However, the project isn’t free, and residents and businesses would have to pay taxes to fund the service. Voters would have to approve the district’s creation.

The neighborhood association is looking to put it on the ballot, potentially by year’s end.

A spokesperson for Bank of America didn’t immediately return a request for comment.