In the last six months thieves targeting touring musicians have hit St. Louis. At least eight bands' touring vans have been robbed since May 2014. Some musicians like rapper Spose have vowed to avoid the city because of the thefts. Police Captain Daniel Howard, of the Fourth District, where many of the thefts took place, said authorities are making progress and some equipment has been recovered.
“There’s a ringleader of a group of thieves that we have our eyes on, and we are working with a prosecutor to make charges,” Howard said.
St. Louis-area police say a revised law is encouraging thieves to steal older cars and sell them for scrap, causing a big rise in auto thefts. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the law, which took effect last August, made it legal to sell a nonfunctioning vehicle 10 years or older without a title.
St. Louis County police Sgt. Tom Naughton says thieves can make $200 to $500 for each car, at a time when other laws have made it harder to sell stolen wire or gutters for scrap.