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Crime drops in downtown St. Louis

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – Crime in the St. Louis police district that includes downtown is starting to go down again in 2009.

Crime in the Fourth District as a whole dropped five percent from 2007 to 2008, but spiked more than 6.5 percent in downtown in the same period, driven by sharp increases in robberies and thefts.

Fourth District Police Commander Gwen Spicer said so far this year, crime in the entire district is down, including downtown. She said part of the reason may be that downtown residents are becoming more vigilant.

"People tend to care about what's going on in their neighborhood, so therefore maybe they're providing more information, seeing more things, calling us more when they see things," she said.

The department is paying special attention to thefts from vehicles, Spicer said. "We have a specialized squad out just to address larcenies, and we're using some unique equipment out there to bait criminals out there and things like that." The department has also posted signs reminding visitors to keep valuables out of site.

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