Contact: Kara Bowlin
314-622-3479 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
City Works to Stop Car Break-Ins
“Working with the Police Department, the City Counselor, the Circuit Attorney, business districts, and the Board of Aldermen, we created a plan to focus on reducing car break-ins,” Mayor Slay said. “Our strategy is two-pronged and focuses on aggressive law enforcement and education. Because car break-ins are generally a crime of opportunity, the best way to avoid being a victim of a car break-in is to park smart.”
Billboards will be erected and posters will be available for distribution throughout the City to urge drivers to remember to keep their valuables out of unattended cars. These vibrant images read “Free Beer, “Free Smokes,” and “Free Food,” reminding drivers that even leaving seemingly insignificant items in cars can make them vulnerable to a break-in. The “Common Sense” educational campaign was created at no charge by Left Field Creative.
“This public awareness campaign was first launched in the 3rd police district and it resulted in a 40% decrease in car break-ins in that area. Expanding the campaign city-wide will help us to reach all St. Louisans,” Chief Isom said. “However, we are also partnering this campaign with an aggressive enforcement policy. We’ve been dispatching increased officers in areas most affected by car break-ins, deploying decoy cars, and conducting constant follow-up on known and repeat offenders.”
To make sure even first time offenders face consequences, Alderwoman Phyllis Young has introduced legislation that will allow the Municipal Courts to prosecute first-time offenders with up to 90 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.
“In order to effectively prosecute car burglars, it’s important for citizens to testify against them in court,” said Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. “Without witnesses, it is very difficult to charge and convict these criminals.”
Businesses, community groups, and attractions can obtain posters by calling the Police Department at 444-5603 to be directed to the correct area station and community outreach officer.
Office of the Mayor