Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hazelwood Police Track Down Home-Invasion Suspect Who Left His Phone Number Behind

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hazelwood Police Track Down Home-Invasion Suspect Who Left His Phone Number Behind

Article excerpt

HAZELWOOD * A man canvassing a Hazelwood neighborhood with fliers for a cleaning company groped a woman Wednesday and tried to force his way into her home.

She bit his arm, closed the door and raced to get a knife. He ran off.

Hazelwood police say the man had one key detail on his flier that they used to find and arrest him: his phone number.

Jerome Devaughn Smith, 25, of St. Peters, was charged Thursday with first-degree burglary and sexual abuse in St. Louis County. Bail was set at $50,000, cash only.

Hazelwood police Detective Sgt. Patrick Schierbecker said Smith had been going door-to-door in the 300 block of Elm Grove Avenue. He was handing out fliers advertising housecleaning services.

About 8 a.m. Wednesday, he handed one to a woman, 68, who was outside her home. She turned to go inside, and shut her screen door, then saw that he was following her and trying to come inside. …

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