Three Men Charged with 22 Felonies Related to Car Break-ins in St. Louis County

click to enlarge St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell, photographed in 2019. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI
DANNY WICENTOWSKI
St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell, photographed in 2019.

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced this afternoon that two teenagers and a 20-year-old have each been charged with 21 counts of property damage and one count of stealing a firearm — all felony charges.

The charges against Kyle Buchanan, 18, Darryl Muldrow, 18, and Deandre Thomas, 20, stem from a series of car break-ins that happened on February 6 at the Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital and the National Health Care Corporation, both in Maryland Heights.

According to a probable cause statement from a detective with the Maryland Heights Police Department, video surveillance footage shows two men breaking car windows on the National Health Care Corporation parking lot while a third man waits in a dark-colored Nissan Altima.

On that same day, a gun was stolen from an Amazon warehouse in St. Peters, according to the probable cause statement.

The following day, Thomas, Buchanan and Muldrow were in the same Nissan Altima when they fled from a police attempt to pull it over near New Halls Ferry Circle. A chase ensued, during which one of the suspects threw a gun from the car. The probable cause statement says the gun was later discovered to have been the same one reported stolen from the Amazon warehouse the day prior.

The chase ended when police deployed a spike strip.

Property that had been reported stolen from Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital was found in the Altima.

Data from cell phones seized from Buchanan place him at Ranken Jordan, National Health Care Corporation and the Amazon warehouse, the probable cause statement says.

Law enforcement and politicians have attempted to clamp down on thefts from autos in the county in recent months. In November, two city councilmen proposed legislation that banned "vehicle prowling," or pulling on handles of successive car doors looking for one that is unlocked.

"I formed a task force to focus on the epidemic of car break-ins we are seeing, and we will hold these defendants accountable for these senseless and destructive property crimes," St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said in a statement. "I strongly advise our residents, please do not store valuables — especially firearms — inside your vehicles. There are organized groups of thieves who view a parked car as an invitation to smash and grab."

Buchanan and Thomas are from St. Louis. Muldrow is from St. Charles. All three are being held on $120,000 bond.

About The Author

Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
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