Park City targeted in especially destructive series of vehicle break-ins
June 1, 2015
The Park City Police Department on Sunday received a string of reports involving vehicle break-ins or vandalized vehicles in what was an especially destructive series of cases stretching from the southern end of Old Town to Round Valley.
Windows were smashed in some of the cases. Items were reported missing from inside in some of them as well. The Police Department said in at least one of the cases the vehicle was vandalized with spray paint.
The reports appeared to start during the 6 a.m. hour and then continued until at least the middle of the morning. In a six-minute span starting at 9:55 a.m., the Police Department received three reports about separate cases, illustrating the pace of the calls to the authorities as victims began discovering the damage.
"It could be people that are just wreaking havoc in the community, not so much they’re trying to steal property," said Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, acknowledging that investigators did not immediately determine a motive.
He said the vehicles suffered an "extensive amount of property damage." Photos released by the Police Department show smashed windows on some of the vehicles and graffiti on another.
The Police Department said it received 15 reports. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office also received reports of cases outside the Park City limits.
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Some of the cases included:
Other cases included reports on Daly Avenue, American Saddler Drive and Round Valley Way. Kirk said the perpetrators went through vehicles looking for valuables in some of the cases in which it appears nothing was taken.
In an online statement, the Police Department provided additional details about some of the cases, including one on the 2300 block of Meadows Drive. The case was reported at 6:39 a.m. The police were told a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle was targeted. The victim parked the vehicle on the road in front of a residence at approximately 8 p.m. By 6 a.m., the back window had been broken and glass was found on the ground and the back seat, the police said. Nothing was missing from inside.
In another case, also detailed in an online statement, a police officer found two damaged vehicles parked in a driveway on the 2200 block of Meadows Drive at 7:22 a.m. The front door on the driver’s side was open on both of them. One of the people who lives there told the police a wallet had been taken from one of the vehicles.
Kirk said there is a good likelihood the cases are connected given the timing of the reports and the similar circumstances. He said the Police Department had not received reports like those logged on Sunday recently, but the Summit County Sheriff’s Office had.
Kirk said the Police Department increased nighttime patrols in neighborhoods in response to the cases. The Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office are sharing information about the investigations, he said.
The Police Department has a lead in the cases but not a suspect, Kirk said. He declined to provide details about the lead.
In another online posting, the Police Department vowed to apprehend the suspects.
"The actions of these criminals is reprehensible with the thousands of dollars worth of damage, and those responsible will not go unpunished. Park City is a safe community, but individuals who are willing to go to such lengths out of spite need to face the consequences for their actions," the posting said.
The Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, logged similar reports. The cases included broken vehicle windows on Canyons Resort Drive and Bear Hollow Drive. In one of the cases on Canyons Resort Drive, someone broke into an unlocked Nissan Pathfinder sport utility vehicle. A purse with a driver license, $320 in cash, a Social Security card, credit cards and a flexible spending card was taken, the Sheriff’s Office said, adding that investigators did not find fingerprints when they processed the vehicle.
Anybody with information about the cases in Park City may contact the Police Department at 615-5500 or the department’s anonymous-tip line, 615-5847. The department also has an online tip form, http://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=994 . The Sheriff’s Office is reachable at 615-3500.