Convenience store shutdown after police raid yields drugs and guns

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JENNINGS, MO (KPLR) - A Jennings convenience store has been shut down after police discovered employees selling marijuana from behind the counter and more.  The brazen activity was all going on within 100 yards of the police commander’s office window.

The Quick Shop Market on Jennings Station Road has been a problem for some time.  Police say they’ve been called there more than eighty times just this year, meaning the little store is responsible for nearly ½ of one percent of all police calls in Jennings.

“Ranging from a shooting, illegal drug sales, disturbances, fights, loitering and so forth,” St. Louis County Police Captain Jeff Fuesting, commander of police operations in Jennings told us.

But the final straw came when a student walking home from nearby Fairview Elementary School stopped in to pick up a snack on his way home.  An employee tried to sell him marijuana.  His dad went to police.

“The father was extremely upset about that,” Fuesting said.

Police raided the store Tuesday.  They found marijuana and three guns behind the counter.  The flat screen television hooked to the store’s security system had been stolen in a burglary earlier in the year.  Also, the conditions in the grimy kitchen were bad enough that the health department could have shut the place down without any police intervention.   There were building code violations as well, and the Quick Shop has now been condemned.

“It’s extremely frustrating looking out that window and seeing the loitering going on at that business, knowing the owner is not trying to make efforts to correct problems at the business as he was informed of what’s going on,” Fuesting told us.  “We actually worked with the owner of the store a couple of months ago, told him what was occurring, and gave him the opportunity to correct the problems at the store, however he failed to do so.  So as of today the store is closed.”

The owner of the store lives in a neighborhood off Olive Blvd, in Creve Coeur.  We went to his home seeking comment, but were told through a closed door that he wasn’t there.  A message left at the home was not returned.

Back in Jennings, residents have mixed emotions.  For better or for worse, the Quick Shop is one of a relatively small number of stores in the area, though a few new ones have opened recently.

“I think this is sad because this was a good neighborhood store,” Jennings resident Paul Ward told us.  “This is the only store we’ve got to come to in this area.  So I think it’s sad a lot of people have got to go a long distance now to get groceries, and candy and snacks.”

But Joy Phillips, walking with her young daughter, appreciates the efforts of police.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” she said.  “Because you don’t want it to happen again.  Like catch another, maybe it will be more than marijuana with the kids.  Maybe it will be pills or something like that.”

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