South Grand residents, shocked following robbery, kidnapping at gas station
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A recent robbery turned kidnapping at a South Grand Avenue gas station has residents who live nearby the busy roadway feeling on edge.
“I go to that gas station probably once a week. And so, it is kind of alarming,” said Aliza Schroeder, who works at a store off of South Grand Blvd.
“[I] kind of started to tear up because it’s only two blocks from our house, said Kelly Potter, who lives in the South Grand area. “I hope the individual is found because I’m sure they had an unexpected day turned into a nightmare.”
The incident happened on Friday, April 7, just before 8:30 p.m. St. Louis police say they have surveillance video showing three men and two women ranging in age from 16 to 20 pull up in two cars at the Philips 66 off South Grand Blvd. and Humphrey St.
In the video, guns were pointed at a victim who was inside of a Chevy Bolt stopped at a gas pump. After being pulled from the car, searched, and forced to remove his jacket, he suspects put him in the back of his own car and drove off.
News 4 has requested surveillance video from the incident, but they have not provided any video.
“It makes you think of people and what they value anymore,” said Potter about the incident. “And it’s not life, which is really upsetting.”
This is not the only issue that’s arisen at the same gas station in the last few years.
A spokesperson with the City’s Department of Public Safety shared with News 4 a nuisance notice for the Philips 66 gas station dated May 26, 2022. The problem properties task force has been monitoring this gas station ever since for nuisance activity.
Data provided by SLMPD shows 98 calls for service since January 2021. Twenty-two of those calls happened since the start of the year, though there have been business checks done by the task force.
Still, residents say something like this most recent kidnapping is rather unusual.
“Petty theft seems to be the main crime that happens in South Grand,” said Schroeder. “So, yea, this is a first and it’s very shocking.”
While police continue to investigate this kidnapping, some residents say it adds to their ongoing concerns with South Grand.
“We are unfortunately going to look for a more safe and hopefully less populated area, because I think that also brings bad behavior,” said Potter.
“[We need to] remain aware, and just be aware of your surroundings,” said Schroeder. “That’s how you remain safe.”
The suspects and victim are still being sought, and police have yet to reveal any information on the name of any of the parties involved.
News 4 also asked bigger businesses nearby this gas station, like the Schnucks off Grand Avenue, if they have seen changes with regard to safety in this part of the city. A spokesperson issued the following statement:
Since we engaged with St. Louis city leaders last August, we have continued a productive dialogue with City leadership about potential solutions to address safety, security and sanitation issues near our South City Schnucks. We remain hopeful for collaborative solutions, but at this time, these ongoing issues remain unresolved.
Since August, Schnucks has taken proactive steps to support security around our store, including installing new fencing, partnering with the Behavioral Health Response (“BHR”) team, and maintaining our high level of security.
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