By: Justina Coronel, KSDK News
June 6, 2023
Suspects seen pulling car door handles, firing gun in The Hill neighborhood
Police said two people in dark clothing got out of a car and looked into other vehicles with flashlights.
ST. LOUIS — At the center of the community in St. Louis’ The Hill neighborhood, church bells ring at St. Ambrose Parish Tuesday morning.
In front of it, splashes of water at the Piazza Imo fountain represent the calmness.
It’s not all peace and quiet, though, in this sacred space.
Just a few feet away on Wilson Avenue, Alderman Joe Vollmer said suspects disrupted this neighborhood.
“There have been reports the past few days of groups being dropped off and flipping car handles,” he said.
Many homeowners in the area rely on doorbell cameras for security.
5 On Your Side’s Christine Byers obtained a video from one resident on the 5200 block of Wilson.
Police confirm this happened shortly after midnight Tuesday morning.
Police said two people in dark clothing got out of a car and looked into other vehicles with flashlights. The video showed the suspects running away and at the end, one person put his hand in the air and fired the gun.
“The most troublesome thing is they are leaving cash in the car,” Vollmer said. “They’re opening glove compartments and looking for guns and that’s a very specific thing.”
Vollmer noted that many of the residents send him clips of the crimes and he claims the community is proactive by hosting crime prevention meetings.
5 On Your Side reporter Justina Coronel spoke to some residents who said they felt safe in this neighborhood.
But they’ve seen the prowlers peruse the premises.
One woman claimed that a few nights ago she yelled at the culprits, shooing them away, and threatened to call police.
The suspects fled.
“If they see anything like this call 911 immediately and never approach anyone with a gun in their hand,” he said. “If there are two to three people pulling on car doors, it’s not a good idea to confront them because a lot of these younger kids are armed.”
Vollmer believes the passion of neighbors, who’ve become their own watchdogs, is a way to deter crime to keep some of the peace.
“I know the police are undermanned and we try to help them the best we can, that’s why we’re so vigilant in this part of town,” Vollmer noted.