With the number of crimes on the rise in St. Louis, MO, even armed state representative-elects are now able to feel the effects of being unarmed. Incoming legislator Bruce Franks Jr. was the victim of armed robbery Monday night.
Franks said he was robbed about 7:20 p.m. in the parking lot of the Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust Street, by two men. One of the robbers was armed with a gun.
“I looked up and the guy had a gun and he told me to get out,” Franks said. “I got out and he pointed a gun at me and told me, ‘Get the hell out of here.’”
The young lawmaker, who has been an outspoken supporter of Terence Crutcher and Michael Brown, said he supports the right to keep and bear arms and has held a concealed carry permit since he was 24. But before entering the Schlafly Tap Room for a holiday party, Franks had disarmed himself, and at the time of the robbery, his firearm was still in the console of his vehicle. After exiting the party, he was sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle on his phone when one of the men opened up his car door, catching him off guard.
“If I reached for a gun, and he already has a gun pointed at me, that’s more reason for him to shoot me,” Franks said. “I would rather both of us survive.”
The armed robbers made off with Franks’ 2009 Toyota Camry, two cell phones and his .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun.
This is the second high-profile robbery the city has played host to in the past few weeks. On December 6th, Sheena Greitens, wife of Governor-elect Eric Greitens, had just exited a restaurant inside of her car in a parking lot looking at her cell phone when her car door was abruptly opened by an armed suspect.
Aside from being high-profile victims of the rising crime rate in St. Louis, both of these individuals have something else in common: they were focused on their cell phones in a parked, unlocked vehicle at night, completely oblivious to their surroundings. While one of them did have access to a firearm for their protection, it does little to help to protect anyone unaware of potential threats.
Police are still searching for the perpetrators of Franks’ armed robbery. The armed suspect is described as a black man, 19 to 24 years old, 150 pounds with a dark complexion and clean-shaven. The second suspect was a black man, 19 to 24 years old, approximately 150 pounds with a dark complexion and wearing a red bandana.