Church thefts reinvigorate St. Louis mission; two charged in connection with car burglary ring

ST. LOUIS – Two men were each charged with 29 more counts in connection with a string of car burglaries that spanned almost four years and shocked police with the sheer number of items they allegedly stole.

According to St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, at least six suspects committed more than 100 car break-ins in the downtown St. Louis area since 2014. Prosecutors charged three people in April.

Khatira Hunt-Rogers was charged with one count of stealing and Lamonte Brown and Jason Holmes were charged with three counts each of property damage and stealing.

Brown and Holmes have since been charged with 29 more counts of property damage, robbery, and stealing.

A church’s mission trip in St. Louis was given extra meaning when they became victims of the car break-ins.

About 120 members of Victory Life Church were visiting from Lubbock, Texas to help revitalize and rebuild about a dozen area churches.

March 11 after the group took a tour at Busch Stadium, they discovered two of their vans parked near Broadway and Spruce had been broken into. According to court documents, five bags containing clothing and personal items, money, a camera and a Nixon watch worth more than $750 were stolen.

A pastor with Victory Life Church said they saw the setback as an opportunity.

“It gave us a little bit more incentive to serve well and to love your city well because obviously there’s a need,” said Ryan Wood, collegiate pastor at Victory Life Church. “We were motivated from that, God gave us some motivation to love a little better and to serve a little harder while we were there.”

The pastor commended the police department for their detective work and he hoped the members in their congregation will be reunited soon with the items police were able to recover.

“Number one, thank you police department for working so hard to find these guys and number two, I couldn’t believe the magnitude of how much stuff they had taken. I mean, that was a lot of stuff,” Wood said.