crime

Steakpinball | Flickr

Two former St. Louis Parks Division officials have pleaded guilty to embezzling over $400,000 from the Parks Division. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District  of Missouri says Joseph Vacca, former deputy commissioner of the St. Louis Parks Division,  and Thomas Stritzel, former chief of the St. Louis Park Rangers pleaded guilty to the charges. According to the Attorney's office, it was through a system of false invoices that the two men acquired the money and used it for personal expenses including automobile leases, credit card payments and other items.

(via Flickr/raleighwoman)

Though crime overall continues to drop in the city of St. Louis, the city’s police department remains concerned about an ongoing spike in car break-ins .

Larcenies are up 2 percent across the city compared to last year, driven by a 7.5 percent jump in car break-ins across the same period.

Read the complete crime report here.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept.)

St. Louis City is currently ranked as the fourth most dangerous city in the nation by CQ Press, based on FBI reports of the number of crimes committed in 2011. But according to St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Sam Dotson and University of Missouri-St. Louis criminology professor Richard Rosenfeld, those numbers fail to tell the whole story.

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

It’s been a good first six months on the job for St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson when it comes to crime numbers.

Compared to the same period last year, overall crime in the city is down more than 7 percent in the first half of 2013. Crimes against persons, like homicides and assaults, are down 20 percent. And most crimes are trending well below five-year averages, though Dotson says he is concerned about an uptick in burglaries in recent weeks.

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 12:39 p.m.

At a press conference Thursday morning, both local and federal officials gathered to share the results of a coordinated effort to tackle violent crime in St. Louis and East St. Louis.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Attorneys offices in both Southern Illinois and Eastern Missouri, along with state and local law enforcement began the push April 1.

Dubbed the “Violent Crime Reduction Partnership," it used undercover operations and other investigative tools to nab prior felons who continue to possess firearms.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Many Bosnian residents in south St. Louis City continue to feel unnerved by the murder of Haris Gogic, a 19-year-old convenience store worker who was killed three weeks ago.

Days later a 30-year old 7-Eleven worker, Mon Rai, was shot death.  

President of the Bosnian Chamber of Commerce, Sadik Kukic, said some members of the community have considering leaving south city in favor of the county or another city all together.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Washington University is hosting a conference tomorrow afternoon on public health challenges in the 21st century.

Melissa Jonson-Reid directs Wash U's Brown Center for Violence and Injury Prevention.

She says one challenge the conference will take on is the problem of violence in St. Louis, and the role local public health professionals can play in addressing it.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says a month of intensive patrols in "hot spots" throughout the city was a major success.

(Photo by Bill Raack/St. Louis Public Radio)

Congressman Lacy Clay of St. Louis says the federal government may soon be able to help local police as they try to combat crime in some parts of the city.

The St. Louis Police Department has recently reassigned some officers to so-called “hot spots” where violent crime continues to be a problem. Clay says there should be announcements in the next few months about combined federal-and-local crime-fighting efforts.

papalars / Flickr

People wanting to resell mobile phones in St. Louis would face tough new restrictions under a newly proposed ordinance.

Mayor Francis Slay and Alderman Craig Schmid announced the legislation in a news release Friday.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Police Department is using a new strategy to curb crime.

Aggravated assaults with firearms are up about 20 percent so far this year over last year.

The police department recently began working with University of Missouri-St. Louis criminology professor Rick Rosenfeld to reduce violent crime.

St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom says the new strategy is to flood high-crime areas with officers during evening hours.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 4:10 p.m. Thursday: The Associated Press reports that one of the men, 18-year-old Myron Pollard, died early this morning. The name and the condition of the second man were not released.

Our original story:

Two men were shot near Carondelet Park in south St. Louis late Wednesday morning.

The shooting occurred as agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and St. Louis City Police, tried to arrest a total of five suspects.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Seeking to reassure the public that St. Louis City is taking action to curb a recent spate of gun-related crime, City Hall announced on Monday several measures designed to target problem neighborhoods.

Police Chief Dan Isom has isolated 12 focus neighborhoods, 8 of which are located in North St. Louis, 2 in central city and 2 in the south.

Starting last weekend Isom says he is also shifting work schedules to move officers from day to evening patrol.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The East St. Louis Housing Authority will use a portion of a federal grant it received in February to boost security at its seven main housing projects in the city.

The funds will allow for the construction of a perimeter fence at the John DeShields homes, new exterior lighting at the same site, and security cameras at all seven of the authority's major properties. The authority will also be able to hire eight full-time security guards.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Ill. DNR director cannot rule out park closures

Amanda Vinicky contributed reporting from Springfield.

The director of the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources says his department will do all it can to keep the state's parks open after the failure of a $2 increase in license plate fees that would have provided a funding stream the the DNR.

But Marc Miller says he can't rule anything out, because the department has seen its budget slashed by 50 percent over the last decade.

(via Flickr/tsbxbby)

Yesterday, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit and the Kirkwood and Pacific City Police Departments busted a large methamphetamine manufacturing network believed to have operated from 2009 to 2011. Twenty-one individuals from Franklin and Jefferson counties suspected to be involved in the network were arrested. (The full list of those arrested is below).

St. Louis man charged in shooting deaths, arson

St. Louis police say a man upset with his ex-girlfriend shot her and her mother to death then set a fire before leaving two young children locked in an apartment. The suspect's 10-month-old son died of smoke inhalation and a 3-year-old girl was critically injured. Prosecutors charged 23-year-old Eric Lawson on Sunday with three counts of first-degree murder and nine other charges, including arson. Police say 22-year-old Breiana Ray and her mother, 50-year-old Gwendolyn Ray, died Saturday of gunshot wounds to the head. Aiden Lawson died of smoke inhalation. The 3-year-old girl was taken to a hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. Her name was not released. 

(photo courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation)

The FBI is looking for a man who robbed the Forest Park Community Credit Union near Saint Louis University today - a robber investigators believe may be responsible for two other robberies last month.

The Bureau says that just before 1 p.m., the robber entered the credit union at 3651 Forest Park Ave., and handed the teller a note demanding cash. The robber did not show or imply that he had a weapon, and left with an undisclosed amount of money.

(courtesy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into three bank robberies that took place within four hours of each other.

Today's robberies were the third, fourth and fifth of the month, and brings the total for 2012 to 14.

Here are the details:

(via Google Maps screen capture)

For the second day in a row, police are investigating the robbery of the Pulaski Bank in downtown St. Louis.

The same bank was robbed Tuesday and again Wednesday. Authorities told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they do not believe the heists are related.

In the latest case, the suspect ran away after stealing an undisclosed amount of money.

Police are searching for suspects in both robberies.

Pages