Mail Found in Stolen SUV Helps St. Louis Police Solve Bevo Burglary


From L: Mekayla Thomas, Dujuan Sumpter and Shay Bowers face felony charges. - COURTESY ST. LOUIS CORRECTIONS
  • From L: Mekayla Thomas, Dujuan Sumpter and Shay Bowers face felony charges.

St. Louis police officers investigating a stolen car used the address on mail found in the vehicle to trace the suspects back to a separate home invasion, authorities say.

Officers working on Wednesday learned the stolen Hyundai Santa Fe was on Itaska Street, according to a probable cause statement. When they responded and tried to pull it over, the SUV sped away, eventually crashing into another car, police say.

Inside the Santa Fe, officers found a laptop and mail addressed to a house on Itaska. Investigators went to the address and learned from the homeowner that someone had broken in through the back door and stolen a laptop and other items.

Police say that Mekayla Thomas, 20; Dujuan Sumpter, 25, and Shay Bowers, 19, had driven the stolen SUV to the house earlier that day and knocked on the front door. When no one answered, Thomas and Sumpter, armed with a handgun, went around back and forced their way inside, according to the complaint.

Along with the stolen laptop and mail, investigators found a handgun in the SUV, police say.

Thomas and Shay are charged with stealing the Santa Fe the same day from the 3800 block of Gravois Avenue in Tower Grove South.

Thomas was previously featured in Fox 2 story after she graduated high school in the city jail through a new program. She told the station in 2017 she had been stealing cars since she was sixteen years old but planned to redirect her life toward school and a career as a funeral director.

All three of the defendants were charged with felony burglary and misdemeanors of stealing and property damage.

Sumpter, who has a series of burglary convictions from 2012, was also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. He was also charged earlier this month with the same thing — unlawful possession of a firearm — but bonded out on February 13.

Sumpter, Thomas and Bowers are being held at the St. Louis City Justice Center.

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