Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Police suspect carjackings may be connected to other crimes

ST. LOUIS – Two suspects were taken into custody after a dramatic police chase late Thursday night. The suspects may be connected to a recent crime spree on both sides of the river, police said.

There have been two carjackings in the past four days at 14th & Chouteau in Downtown St. Louis. That location may be the hub that ties everything together, police said.

The most recent carjacking happened around 11:00 p.m. Thursday. East St. Louis police spotted the stolen vehicle in Illinois and gave chase back into St. Louis. The driver went off the road near I-70 and Jennings Station. Police arrested two suspects.

The suspects damaged an East St. Louis police cruiser during the chase, but no one was hurt, police said.

Investigators are looking into whether those suspects are the same two who committed a pair of terrifying hold-ups at convenience stores in Illinois early Tuesday morning: the first around 2:00 a.m. at the 7/11 on Niedringhaus Avenue in Granite City; the second a couple of hours later at the Circle K on Hwy 13 at Frank Scott Parkway in Belleville. Surveillance pictures show the suspects holding a clerk at gunpoint and jumping the counter to empty the cash registers in both cases.

The suspects’ vehicle in the hold-ups was stolen in a carjacking from the same 14th & Chouteau location late Monday night.

After both carjackings, the vehicles were driven into Illinois.

Investigators are now searching for physical evidence that may tie the two suspects from the Thursday night’s chase and carjacking to the vehicle stolen Monday night and used in the hold-ups.