problem properties

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis has beefed up the number of attorneys targeting problem properties in the city.

Private lawyers from firms throughout St. Louis, working for free, will supplement the efforts of city attorneys to take the owners of those properties to court.

Those are the buildings that are so structurally unsound they pose a safety risk, or where police get numerous complaints of nuisance crimes.

(photo courtesy of the Peoria (Ill.) police department)

This fall, the St. Louis police department will be getting help conducting surveillance on problem properties from an armadillo.

No, not the hard-shelled mammals you see scattered on highways in the Southwest.

This Armadillo is a former armored car that's been made bulletproof, given a graffiti-resistant paint job, and outfitted with 360-degree surveillance.