Thieves Targeting Older Cars

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ST. ANN, MO. (KTVI) – Having a car stolen out of your driveway is a violating feeling.  Imagine having it happen twice in under two weeks.  That’s the story of a St. Ann family, and it may be the tip of an auto theft iceberg.

The first car, a 1987 Pontiac 6000 station wagon, was taken from the Sanborn home on Edgemont Court November 15.  The thieves struck just after the family turned out the lights at bedtime.  The old wagon contained $3000 worth of a tradesman’s tools.

“He’s a floor layer,” Stephanie Sanborn says of her father.  “And it had all his tools in it, tools that he’s had for 35 years.”

That was bad enough.

“It’s a violation.  It’s a creepy feeling.  It’s uneasiness,” she says.

But then, eleven days later, about the same time, they heard noise in the driveway again.

“My grandma yells from her bedroom, ‘who’s leaving?’  And my dad yells, ‘nobody,’ and she says, ‘they’re stealing the car!’  And as soon as we got to the window we could see them pulling out of the driveway, and my dad jumped in my grandma’s car and took off after them, but by the time he got to the end of the street they were gone.”

Police say there is a pattern here.  Thieves in north St. Louis county have been targeting older, easy to steal, easy to sell cars.

“Florissant has had the same problem with around the same year and models of different cars so it’s definitely a concern for us,” St. Ann Police Lt. Aaron Jiminez said, Thursday night.  “My opinion is it has to be the same person or working with another.”

St. Ann is working with other departments in an effort to find the culprits, but they say your best defense is a neighborhood watch program.

“You can never be too nosey and let us know what’s going on,” Jiminez says.

For the Sanborns, there’s more to this than just a new crime trend.  There’s the three year old in the house, who still won’t sleep in his bed.

“He keeps saying, ‘What if the bad guys come back and steal me?  Are they coming come back and steal me now?” Sanborn said.

And there are other worries.

“My parents lost their home to foreclosure four years ago, and we all moved in here.  That was the last two pieces of property they owned. And in less than two weeks they were gone. I mean, who does that to somebody?  Not once but twice.”

If you have any information, contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).

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