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Press Release

St. Louis Man Sentenced to 10+ Years in Prison for Armed Robbery of Jennings Auto Parts Store

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey on Wednesday sentenced a St. Louis man to 10 years and five months in prison for the armed robbery of an auto parts store in Jennings before he crashed into a funeral procession while trying to escape police.

Diven Steed, 27, robbed the O’Reilly Auto Parts store in Jennings on Dec. 5, 2020 with a Pioneer Arms “Hellpup” AK-47-style pistol. His co-defendant, Collis Lee, also had a pistol. 

Steed and Lee took cash from store registers. Lee pistol-whipped a clerk twice. Steed talked openly about killing the two clerks.

When Steed and Lee left the auto parts store, witnesses pointed them out to police, who had already begun to arrive in response to a 911 call from a customer who had slipped out of the store during the robbery. While fleeing from police with Steed in the car, Lee crashed into a limousine in a three-car funeral procession transporting grieving family members to a funeral home. Five people in the limousine were injured. 

Steed got out of his vehicle and ran toward some homes, refusing officers’ orders to drop his gun and presenting a danger to officers and area residents, his plea says. An officer fired twice at Steed, hitting him in the buttocks. 

Steed pleaded guilty in August to a robbery charge and a charge of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime. 

Lee, now 26, of Moline Acres, pleaded guilty to the same charges in December and was sentenced in March to 11 years and three months in prison.

The St. Louis County Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Dunkel is prosecuting the case.

Updated November 16, 2022

Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses