Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  Last year, 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French worked with St. Louis police chief Dan Isom and circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce to install new surveillance cameras throughout the crime-plagued district in north city.

Now it looks like that $400,000 project funded through capital improvement monies has paid off.

French tells KMOX News that somebody set fire to his ward community office, which doubles as a police substation, early this morning and they have the tape to prove it.

“It looks like gasoline was poured through the mailbox and then ignited,” French tells KMOX News.

Nobody was hurt but the front lobby was extensively damaged.

He sees a connection between the arson attempt and the fact that the community office houses not-for-profit agencies that oversee “nuisance coordination and troubled properties within the neighborhood”.

“There is a troubled property – a corner store – that we’ve been in the process of stripping of its liquor license,” French confides. “Those signatures are due this week.”

He’s thrilled with the recently-installed surveillance system and says this is definitely not the first crime caught on tape since the cameras went online last year.


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