Investigators notice pattern in St. Louis area gun store burglaries

ST. LOUIS, MO — There have been waves of gun store break-ins across the St. Louis area. During the last robbery, the suspects shot at a witness. This is at least the fifth gun store burglary in November.

Three burglars smashed the windows at Southern Armory on Watson Road just after 3 a.m. Monday. The thieves stole long guns and fired shots at a witness who was working overnight at Harbor Freight Tools.

Crestwood Police Chief Frank Arnoldy said they're looking for connections to other recent gun store break-ins.

"It's worrisome these guns are getting onto the street and what they could be used for," he said.

Burglars reportedly hit a High Ridge gun store about 30 minutes before smashing through the front window at Southern Armory.

"They noticed the employee of an adjacent business was watching them. They fired four shots at the building. None of them hit the employee. They left in a silver four-door, possibly foreign car," Arnoldy said.

Police and ATF investigators are looking for connections to other break-ins earlier this month. Two other recent heists were pulled off by three burglars. Thieves smashed through the front of Triple Threat Armory in Affton November 10. Owners said they’d locked up their guns but the thieves stole ammo and other valuables. That crime was just about an hour apart from a break-in at a Valley Park gun store called On Target, where thieves also broke through the front glass.

The fifth gun store break-in this month was in Des Peres November 8 at Razorback Armory.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS or by texting 63975 using the code "ATFKC." Tipsters can remain anonymous.

In Crestwood, Arnoldy said investigators were still looking at surveillance video.