officers were asked to keep an eye on car washes on patrol routes after a string of burglaries at the businesses. So, one officer decided to stake out a business on his beat early Wednesday morning.
Officer Brian Bresnahan took up position at the where he could see the Gateway Car Wash at 455 South Church Road without being seen.
"He was there about 15 minutes when a guy pulls up and gets out wearing a ski mask, carrying a crowbar," said Officer Melissa Doss, a St. Peters Police spokesperson. “I think he was a little take aback (by the obvious dress).”
Bresnahan and other officers converged on the lot as the man was prying the office door open and arrested the him.
Paul L. Sherman Jr., 27, of the 400 block of Britain Way, was charged Thursday with five counts of second-degree burglary and two counts of stealing more than $500 and one count of stealing less than $500.
Sherman told police he committed the car wash burglaries because he was behind in his bills and had to provide for his family.
Police said Sherman confessed to four burglaries besides to the Gateway Car Wash incident. The charges include burglaries at three other St. Peters area car washes and a convenience store:
- Jungermann Road Car Wash, 1275 Jungermann Road, where less than $500 was stolen on Monday;
- St. Peters Auto Spa Wash, 1100 Jungs Station Road, where about $2,000 was stolen Friday;
- Dirt Cheap Store, 1494 Kisker Road, which had wires to the building cut on July 7;
- Harvester Auto Spa, 3615 Harvester Road, where more than $500 was stolen July 7. The victim also reported about $6,000 in property damages.
Sherman told police he had intended to break into an ATM machine at Dirt Cheap and cut wires to the store to eliminate. However, he said he got scared and broke into the Harvester Car Wash instead. The cut wires operated a Lotto machine in the store.
Bond was set at $5,000 for each of the five burglaries.