Crime Investigations

The recent shooting on Tuxedo Blvd remains under active investigation. As such, we cannot comment on the specifics of the case nor the investigation. However, in effort to be responsive to concerns raised by community members, we wanted to answer some basic questions about the processes and powers of the City to address certain actions.  

What happens after an arrest?

The police must have probable cause to make an arrest. Once an arrest is executed, the police have 24 hours to present evidence to the Prosecutor and obtain a warrant.  The Prosecutor reviews that evidence and generally has 3 options for a charging decision: 

  1. Prepare an Affidavit for a warrant that must be signed by a judge.  
  2. Take a case “Under Advisement” generally meaning further investigation/evidence is required.  
  3. Refuse the Case 

If a warrant is not issued within 24 hours, the suspect cannot be held (must be released) and is free with the same rights as any other member of the public.  

Why is the name of the person arrested not released?

An arrested person’s name is only released publicly if charges are filed in the matter. If no charges are filed by the County Prosecuting Attorney, the names are not released. 

Who files charges in criminal matters?

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney files all criminal charges. The Webster Groves Municipal Prosecutor ONLY files charges on traffic cases, small misdemeanor issues, and municipal code violations.  

Who issues warrants for arrests? 

A warrant for a criminal case is ONLY issued by the Circuit Court after a judge signs off on the request from the County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. The police department and the Webster Groves Municipal Court have no authority to issue a warrant in a criminal matter. 

Who issues Temporary Restraining Orders? 

No police agency, city government, or city municipal court issues temporary restraining orders (TRO). TROs are ONLY issued by the Circuit Court upon petition by a party seeking protection.  

What can the Webster Groves Municipal Court and Prosecuting Attorney act on? 

Under state law and the orders of the Supreme Court, the Webster Groves Municipal Court and Prosecuting Attorney are limited to jurisdiction on municipal code violations, usually traffic and code enforcement issues. They are not given any jurisdiction in criminal matters. 

What should we do when a neighbor is behaving badly? 

If you believe the situation is safe for a conversation, we encourage neighbors to talk to one another and explain their feelings about conduct and behavior in the neighborhood. If you believe the situation may be confrontational, you can call the Police Department non-emergency line at 314-645-3000.   

How do I report a code violation? 

If you believe there is a code violation, you can file a report anonymously with the City on the Fix-It Form at; You may also call Planning and Development directly at 314-963-5332. 

Will there be action on my complaint to the City about an issue? 

Yes. The appropriate city department will investigate the issue. If there is a legal action that must be resolved or action taken, that department will make the appropriate response. However, many issues between neighbors do not have a legal remedy through a complaint to the City. While this is frustrating, many scenarios must be resolved through conversations or civil action between parties. 

Is living in a tent in a backyard illegal? 

There is no municipal code violation for putting a tent in your yard. Also, the City does not have a legal right to access private property to see if someone is “living” in a tent.  Tents are not subject to the occupancy regulations of the City.   

Why do code violations, such as trailers or junk in yards, take a long time to gain compliance? 

Code violations, like junk in yards or trailers on properties, are dealt with by the Planning and Development department. When a complaint is received and there is a violation visible from the street or right of way, the City can issue an infraction notice with requirements to comply based on timing in the code. If the violation is only visible from neighboring properties, access to the property must be given to the City from the adjacent property owner.  With that permission, the City can view the property and may issue an infraction notice.  

However, if the owner does not act in that timeline given with the infraction notice, the matter must be referred to the Municipal Court. The City cannot unilaterally remedy the situation; the constitutional rights of all persons demands that the City follow the required judicial steps. This judicial process may take some time. The Municipal Court meets once a month to address these types of matters. The City, cannot direct a judge to act on our timeline. The Judge, in an effort to be fair, often gives additional time for a property owner to come into compliance with a code violation. The City cannot control the judicial outcome.