Four separate crimes within a two hour period early Sunday appear to be related. In each, police say a dark colored Dodge or Plymouth minivan with three young men, between 17 and 25 years of age were the culprits.
Four victims were robbed by gunpoint off of North Taylor and South Compton in Midtown. Two men and a woman were shot and injured in the separate robberies.
St. Louis Police investigators responded to the first call around 2:45 a.m. Sunday in the 1100 block of North Taylor where a 42-year-old man was ordered to turn over his money. The man tried to run when an unidentified suspect opened fire, shooting the victim in the leg.
About 45 minutes later, in the 3600 block of South Compton, a 24 year old man was walking when a suspect drove up and pointed a gun at the man. That suspect took the man's wallet and cash, then fled.
Just ten minutes after the call on Compton, two people were walking in the 4100 block of Bates when a minivan pulled alongside, three men exited the van and took a 39 year old man's wallet, and tried to take a 23 year old woman's purse.
The female victim would not surrender her property and was grazed in the leg by a bullet fired by one of the suspects, who then returned to the van and fled.
An hour later, at 4:40 a.m. Sunday, a 53 year old man was cleaning the parking lot of a market when two men, one armed with a handgun approached and went through the man's pockets, taking a cigarette lighter and cash before fleeing.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The state of Illinois is asking a federal court to reject a push by gun-rights advocates to let the state's residents start publicly toting weapons as soon as next week, rather than waiting months for implementation of a new concealed carry law.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office asked a judge Thursday to throw out the request filed in East St. Louis by Mary Shepard. She filed the injunction a day after lawmakers lifted the last-in-the-nation ban. The state argues Shepard needs to file a new complaint instead of a motion seeking an emergency hearing from a judge.
No hearing has been scheduled.
Shepard says an unconstitutional ban on packing pistols remains because it will be as long as nine months before the first carry permits are approved in Illinois.
A Washington Park trustee is among 15 people indicted for Medicaid fraud.
St. Clair County probation officer and Washington Park trustee Darron A. Suggs is among those named. If convicted, he and others charged can receive up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton says the indictments grew out of complaints concerning the Home Services Program.
The program is intended for people under 60 and designed to reduce Medicaid expenditures by cutting down on institutional care.
However, Wigginton says the state of Illinois paid for ghost employees and fictitious services that, with one exception, did not keep anyone out of an institutional setting.