Watch video: Suspects drive car in OFallon Academy Sports

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The O’Fallon Police Department released part of the Academy Sports surveillance video, where several suspects tried to break into a gun holster after driving a stolen car through the front doors from the store early Wednesday morning.

The suspects are still at large, O’Fallon Police Captain Mike Mojzis said Thursday morning.

The video was provided to the News-Democrat of Belleville on Thursday afternoon. It shows when the car entered the main entrance. Three people can be seen getting out of the car.

Police say the suspects then went to the store’s firearms department and unsuccessfully attempted to smash the glass of the case with a sledgehammer.

“The cabinets are very, very secure,” Mojzis said. “We are pleased that Academy Sports has taken these steps.”

The O’Fallon Police Department is also working with officers in St. Peters, Missouri, where another athletic academy was robbed after a car drove through the front doors early Wednesday morning. The suspects unsuccessfully attempted to shoot through the glass of the holster.

In O’Fallon, the suspects used a stolen Kia to break through the front doors and break into the building. In St. Peters, they used a Hyundai.

O’Fallon police say a second Kia was also stolen Wednesday about two blocks from the Academy Sports store; they think it’s crime related. This is a red-on-grey 2012 Kia Optima with Illinois registration Q598918.

The city of St. Louis recently threatened to sue the makers of Kia and Hyundai over “faulty conditions” that make cars easy to steal after a surge in thefts there. Mojzis said O’Fallon police are seeing more car thefts caused by people leaving their car doors unlocked or garage doors open.

O’Fallon police are continuing to search for information about the Sports Academy incident and are looking for surveillance video from outside the store that shows the suspects, according to Mojzis.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. O’Fallon Police Department. Nick Schimdt at 618-624-4545.

This story was originally published September 1, 2022 1:54 p.m.

Metro East is home to investigative journalist Lexi Cortes. She grew up in Granite City, graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2014, and now lives in Collinsville. Lexi joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 2014 and has won several state awards for her investigative reporting and community service.
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