St. Louis and St. Louis County Police officers found piles of property stolen from vehicles and arrested four suspects Thursday.
St. Louis Police Capt. Renee Kriesmann says the thefts are believed to have occurred over the span of a year from vehicles in the St. Louis area. The victims included residents and travelers.
Police said they expect to make more arrests in the thefts.
Two stolen weapons were confiscated during the arrests, made as search warrants were executed at three homes. Other items recovered included boxes of purses, two white mountain bikes, numerous backpacks, boxes of laptops, musical equipment, cameras, flat-screen televisions and luggage.
Kriesmann said the loot was found at two homes in the county and one home in the city.
"This is the result of what we did this morning," Kriesmann said as she scanned the room at the Central Patrol station on North Jefferson Avenue loaded with stolen items.
St. Louis city and county officers assisted by federal agents compiled the information that led to the search warrants.
"The detectives were surprised with how much was inside those homes," she said. "This is a lot of stolen property for us."
Kriesmann said she believes the culprits attempted to sell some of the items on the street and online.
"I do believe they had a plan for what they were going to do with the merchandise," she said.
She said some victims' items have been identified but police also plan to catalog the goods and search for serial numbers and other identification that may lead to their owners.
"This week we will try to identify and contact the owners of this property and get the property back to them," Kriesmann said. "We have a lot of laptops and things stolen out of cars."
Kriesmann asks the public to be patient and give police a couple of days to sort through the items.
Merchandise left with no known owners will eventually be photographed and put on the department's website. Property that goes unclaimed will eventually go on the police website for anyone to purchase.