We ran across the following posting on Craigslist - St. Louis, dated May 3 - Sunday - in the Lost and Found category and titled "Robbed at Gun Point (soulard):
"So, me and my friends where, yes robbed at freaking gun point last night. My purse was stolen and I'm hoping they just took the cash and threw out the window. It's a white purse with a brown strap. If any one finds it, can I please have it back!" Location: Soulard.
Madame Chouteau sure hopes this person gets her purse back. Remember, these are hard times, and wandering around the Soulard neighborhood after dark can be risky, especially if you have been drinking. Of course, this is just common sense.
Update (added on Monday): Wishing to obtain more detail than that on the Craigslist posting, Madame Chouteau had a friend contact the Craigslist poster seeking additional information. The friend truthfully identified himself as a resident of the Soulard neighborhood. Following is the exact reply (the name of the victim has been left out):
"I actually work at Johnny's and after work I went to McGurks to visit with my friends from Dublin. After last call we were gathered at the front bar. My girlfriend was parked on 12th St across from where the cop sits. She wanted to walk by herself but I insisted that we all walk her. All being myself, my 2 girlfriends and a guy friend from Dublin. We walked her to her Jeep and were just talking about plans for Sunday. The time was approx 1:30-1:40ish, our 1st call to 911 was 1:50 a.m. or so. Just then a Silver late 90's Monte Carlo swerved toward us and then wiped around and another car facing the other way, stopped. 3 black men jumped out, I could only see out of the corner of my eye, since I was facing the Jeep. One of the guys about 5 foot 8, wearing jeans and a held a very shiny hand gun to my head. He said to give him all of our money. The other men were pointing guns towards my friends. They hit one of my girlfriends in the face.
"My guy friend from Dublin, told them that they didn't want to do this. They pushed him and hit him. My back was to them...I dropped to my knees and laid my purse down and placed my hands in the air. One of them grabbed it and they hopped into the cars and turned west on Russell. The police came after being put on hold twice, thank God no one got shot or we'd be dead. Needless to say that is the 3rd time I've been robbed in this city. My purse was stolen from work during Mardi Gras, last summer my car was broken into and now this. Each time before I was thankful I wasn't robbed by gun point or hurt.
"Next time I'm sure someone is going to kill me. Thankfully for me I'm only working 5 more days in Soulard and then I don't think I'll ever go back without a gun. It's getting worse in the city and the police just care. No one is safe. I have countless of stories from friends that this type of stuff has happened all in your backyard.
"My boyfriend was home during a home invasion and those assholes were never caught. I'll never get any of my stuff back and I can deal with that. Since this is my 3rd time around, you start getting numb. The police suggested that we arm our selves. I'll probably be caring a gun from now on down there. If this dosen't get under control you're going to have not only the thugs with guns but everyone else with them. I'm not a radical about firearms but if we had guns this would have defanity ended in a blood bath. Needless to say, I'll have a gun on me from now on and suggest to friends not to go down there without one. I hope this helps. Good Luck!"
Madame Chouteau thanks the victim for her willingness to share the unfortunate details, and we hope she soon recovers her composure.
Update 2 (added on Tuesday): Following is an official version of what happened in Soulard relating to the incident on Sunday, May 3, from information compiled by Lisa, Linda and Terry, who operate Soulard neighborhood blasters meant to keep neighborhood residents and others informed:
The following information provided from a St. Louis police officer:
Incident: Robbery 1st
Location: 2018 S. 12th Street
Suspect #1: B/M, early 20's, 5'06", short hair, light t-shirt, shorts, silver handgun
Suspect #2: B/M, early 20's, 6'01", short twisties, slim build, light t-shirt, black blue jeans, black handgun
Suspect #3: B/M, driver in Chevy Malibu
Suspect #4: B/M, passenger in Chevy Monte Carlo
Dates/Times: 05/03/09 0150hrs
Terry was also told (by a SLPD officer) that this robbery, and 5 others, occurred throughout the city this same evening, committed by the same suspects. They were driving a stolen car, boxed the victims in, assaulted and robbed them at gun point.
The following information was received by a resident who contacted the Craigslist poster: (Please note, the following are details from the victim's email and not a copy of the reply.) The victim met friends at McGurks after work at another Soulard business. After last call the victim and friends walked one of the friends to her car on 12th Street. (Victims: 3 females and 1 male) A silver late model 90's Monte Carlo swerved toward them and whipped around and another car facing the other way, stopped. 3 suspects (see description above) jumped out with guns and demanded all of their money. 2 of the victims were pushed and/or hit.