OAKVILLE, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Heavily-armed suspects were caught on camera breaking into cars in garages in south St. Louis County. This one family was shocked by what they saw, as they became the latest victims to an increase in break-ins and thefts across the St. Louis region.
"There was one door stopping them between them and my wife. My wife was 15 feet away from two guys with guns. That scares me half to death," one resident tells News 4.
The Oakville resident we talked to Sunday wishes to stay anonymous for fear of retaliation. He said he experienced the unexpected Friday morning.
"I heard my phone blink. I woke up, I looked on my security system, and saw three guys walking out of my garage," the homeowner said.
Around 4 a.m. Friday, a neighbor's Ring Doorbell captured the start of what residents are calling a break-in spree. The first video shows two suspects walking into the frame, one in the street, another in a blue hoodie pulling on a car door handle. You can also see a red four-door car on the street.
St. Louis City's aldermen passed a bill making pulling on car door handles illegal.
Residents say that was the suspects' getaway. Video then shows the suspects continuing down the street, where another resident's cameras picked up the motion. For safety reasons, News 4 has chosen to not disclose the exact Oakville neighborhood.
"They blatantly broke into her car. They trashed her whole car," a homeowner said. "They didn't break into mine. I think they just checked the doors and walked past. They got into our garage with the garage door opener."
This homeowner's camera didn't capture the initial break in, but surveillance video shows a car in the driveway with its inside lights on. Video then shows multiple suspects inspecting the car then walking into the garage underneath the homeowner's security camera.
"Two of them entered my garage, and the third one behind them looked in my security system and showed me he had an AR pistol in his hand," the homeowner said.
In the surveillance video, you can see two of the suspects with guns in their hands. One of them does hold it up to the security camera as he walks into the homeowner's garage.
"We had three neighbors in here get broken into. My biggest concern now is they took my garage opener, so they're gonna come back because they expect to get into the garage," the homeowner said.
Neighbors tell News 4 St. Louis County police did come out early Friday morning. We reached out to police Sunday morning for statistics involving car break-ins across St. Louis County and specifically in Oakville, but were told we have to wait until Monday for that information.
"They confirmed the whole Oakville area got hit the same night, so we've been seeing it all over Facebook. They were all down Telegraph and hitting up different neighborhoods. We had cars stolen and other cars broken into," the homeowner continued.
Now, residents have a message for you after one of them tried going after the suspects.
"When I came back, I noticed they all were carrying guns and that was a little scary to think. So what would've happened if I actually got to stop them? It's just stuff, it's not worth your life," the homeowner said.
As of August, St. Louis County police statistics show car related thefts and break-ins are up more than 100% from 2020. We're working to get more up to date stats now.
In a Facebook post, the St. Louis County Police Department asked residents on 11 streets to provide surveillance and doorbell video that may be related to recent string of car break-ins.
If you live in the following areas, please contact Detective Bryne at 314-615-4169.
- 5600 block of Chalet Forest
- Pinetop Court, Cripple Creek Drive
- 5600 block of Wickershirte
- 7600 block of Fine Oaks Place
- 2400 block of Boardwalk Place Drive
- 7000 block of Willow Branch Court
- 6100 block of Clifton Oaks Place
- 3000 block of Cambridge Point Drive
- 2900 block of Royal Point Drive