Soulard neighbors catch thieves dumping stolen Kias in their private parking lot

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – It’s a criminal trend spreading through the backyard of a Soulard woman. Cameras catch people dumping stolen Kias in a Bohemian Hill parking lot.

“We saw our lot being cased and that’s when they started dumping here,” says owner Ann Austin. One of the things the police said was not to approach them. They are armed.

Surveillance footage captured the suspects on foot. Neighbors tell New 4 that at least 6 stolen Kias were parked in the private parking lot and recovered within a week.

In June, 155 Kias were reported stolen to St. Louis City Police.

“They hot-plug them and they drive around doing whatever they want with them and they drop them off here,” says tenant Trenton Jaco.

Jaco is leaving the neighborhood.

“These are younger children. 15-18 for sure,” says Jaco. One day I took out two new Kias, the next day another Kia. It’s like their little storage area here.

“The threat I feel is to walk out the back door because I came face to face with one of the kids one day,” Austin says.

Neighbors think the same group stole a Kia from a woman next door.

“I pay my taxes and call the police. I want them to come, Austin said. We have motion lights and cameras all over this lot. We have pictures. We sent so many things,” says Austin.

According to St. Louis police, a detective and a captain received the case.

“It really feels like you’re running in fear of a group of kids who, unfortunately, have their needs met by belonging to groups that do these things. That for me is the saddest part,” says Austin.

“If you have a Kia in St. Louis, you have to make sure it’s locked,” Jaco says. You have to watch it.


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