Police nab thieves who stripped copper from St. Louis Racquet Club

ST. LOUIS - Central West End's St. Louis Racquet Club is looking a little different these days. The domed arch over the side doorway is just a wooden skeleton. Its copper cover was stripped away and the copper on the awning to its right was cut away and curled.

The suspects, Fredrick Townsend and Meiah Marshall, were each charged with stealing $25,000 or more of copper.

According to charging documents filed in St. Louis, police responded to a suspicious persons call at the closed down Marshall School where they found Townsend and Marshall with a U-Haul matching the description of prior thefts. Court documents show that inside the U-Haul, police found a large piece of copper that was taken from the St. Louis Racquet Club along with tools used to commit metal thefts.

Authorities said surveillance video from the racquet club even shows Townsend and Marshall show up in a U-Haul and approach the building on multiple occasions between June 11 and July 9. The U-Haul's plates matched the one located at Marshall School.

In March, Townsend was charged with stealing $750. Court documents said the stolen U-Haul he was caught driving linked him to a metal theft at Concordia Publishing House. Townsend was out on a $500 bond when he was arrested this second time.

Marshall allegedly told police she was with Townsend to stand watch while he “conducted his business.”

Meiah Marshall and Frederick Townsend.