One of those arrested is a pregnant 13 year-old girl, along with a 12 year-old girl and 14 year-old girl: her alleged accomplices. A 15 year-old boy was also arrested, accused of beating up and robbing a man, while still wearing his school uniform.
City officials say they have zero tolerance for these bold and random crimes. In each of these three cases, all in the heart of downtown St. Louis, a group of teens approached a pedestrian, then beat them up, and stole personal items like cell phones and money.
Police say there may be additional arrests, in addition to the four juveniles already in custody. Now, police are increasing patrols, both visible and undercover. Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff, Jeff Rainford, says they’re also working on longer-term efforts to prevent these young people from becoming criminals, in the first place, through programs that provide valuable skills and summer jobs.
Rainford emphasizes that there will be consequences for those who commit crimes, no matter the circumstance: “We should not tolerate it, we should be outraged by it, we should do something about it, and there should be a consequence, and in this case, there is.”
Downtown STL, Inc. is also taking action to keep downtown safer. Chief Operating Officer Missy Kelley says, “The audacity of these crimes is a little bit more disturbing, so to have an attack at 5 o’clock on a relatively well-traveled downtown intersection, I think those are the things that have people concerned and worried. And that’s why police have taken swift and pretty dramatic action, frankly.”
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