ST. LOUIS - Thieves tried to rob four women at gunpoint at four different locations in only 12 hours in St. Louis City. They were successful in three of the incidents.
The last incident happened around 10:45 p.m. Wednesday night on Maryland in the Central West End. Police said when the woman refused to turn over her backpack at gunpoint, one of the suspects punched her in the face with his fist.
Bettina Mittdendorfer has lived in the Central West End for about 20 years. She said armed robberies are not common but they have occurred. When she’s walking in the CWE she is always alert.
“You’re aware of your surroundings. You don’t look at your phone, you don’t wear headphones, you look where you walk,” said Mittdendorfer.
In the CWE incident, the 61-year-old victim refused to give the suspects her property and one of them struck her in the face.
“I’m actually very surprised. To me there’s nothing in your purse worth not giving over,” said Wendy Fischer who works in the CWE.
Jim Whyte heads up the Neighborhood Security Initiative which covers most of the Central West End.
“I don’t want to be critical of how a victim responds at the time. It does seem through other incidents just by being passive and complying they generally leave without much of an incident,” Whyte said.
On Wednesday, there were three other armed robberies of women. One in the Ikea garage, one at a parking spot on South Grand and one at the Laclede Parking Garage near the BJC medical complex.
In one of the incidents, the victim screamed and the suspect fled without getting anything. Because of description difference police do not think the CWE suspect is involved in the parking lot incidents.