CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – Area contractors are breathing a sigh of relief after St. Louis County police arrested four men they say are responsible for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of items from homes either under construction or renovation over the last three years.
“Everything from thermostats and doorbells to light fixtures,” says officer Benjamin Granda, “all the way up to high-dollar appliances such as refrigerators or stoves.”
Granda says they hit sites in St. Louis city and county, as well as St. Charles, Jefferson and St. Clair counties.
The suspects have not been charged, yet, so they’re names are not being released.
Two of the four were mainly responsible for the thefts, Granda says – and they knew what they were doing.
The officer says the men had knowledge of the stages of home construction, and knew what items they were looking for, and when they’d be delivered.
The thieves would either sell the items, or install them in homes.
“There could be unsuspecting homeowners who, completely unbeknownst to them, have stolen appliances or fixtures or things of that nature in their home,” Granda says.
The items were stored in a warehouse in the 3700 block of Bates in south St. Louis.
Granda says contractors have been lining up there, trying to recover items they’ve had stolen.
“A lot of our contractors had been hit over and over,” he says. “A lot of these builders are the same ones affected repeatedly, and they’re the same ones picking their stuff up now.”
Granda says those who may have had items stolen from the suspects should bring proof-of-purchase to reclaim them. Police will try to return everything that has been recovered to its rightful owner.