Slay, Mokwa Announce Auto Theft Crackdown
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – St. Louis police have launched a voluntary program they hope will curb auto thefts in the city.
It's called "H.E.A.T.," short for "Help Eliminate Auto Theft."
Starting Friday, anyone in the metro area can put special stickers on their automobiles that allow city police to pull over those vehicles between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Police Chief Joe Mokwa said those hours are the best for targeting car thieves.
"Cars get stolen at all times of day and night, but unfortunately some of our most violent criminals are driving stolen cars in the wee hours of the morning," Mokwa said.
Mokwa said the overall crime rate is down in St. Louis, but auto thefts have gone up 15 percent in the last year.
The city is also buying three more bait cars in an attempt to catch thieves.