Authorities capture suspects in string of Park City auto break-ins
Authorities in the Salt Lake Valley arrested two suspects and are seeking three others in a string of vehicle burglaries that included cases in Park City and the Snyderville Basin, the Park City Police Department said.
The cases in the Park City area occurred in mid-June. They occurred in clusters in the daytime, a rare set of vehicle break-ins to occur in daylight hours in Park City. There were also cases in the Salt Lake Valley.
Zach Nakaishi, a Park City police officer investigating the cases, said the five suspects are from the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area and range in age from their mid-20s to early 30s. The police in Layton arrested the two suspects who were captured, he said. The other three remain at large.
Nakaishi said the two suspects were charged with possession of stolen property. He said they were found with identifications, credit cards and checkbooks that were reportedly taken in the break-ins. He said the suspects are believed to have been involved in cases in Orem and Lindon in addition to those in Park City and the Snyderville Basin. There were 18 cases logged in the Park City area, with reports to the Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
The smash-and-grab cases occurred in the Park City area on June 11. The reports were filed in disparate locations running along the S.R. 224 corridor to Quinn’s Junction. There were cases at Redstone, Willow Creek Park, a small parking lot close to the McPolin Farm, the Park City High School parking lot and a parking lot at Round Valley.
Nakaishi said the two people arrested in Layton were initially taken into custody at a hotel after the authorities there received a report involving a substance that was suspected to be marijuana. The officers saw financial documents in the room that did not belong to the suspects, he said. The police in Layton obtained a search warrant and also found receipts and property that was believed to have been stolen, he said.
“You’re looking at every lead possible and following up on every lead,” Nakaishi said.
The authorities in Park City and Summit County frequently receive reports of vehicle break-ins, but the cases in June were especially notable since there were so many in a short amount of time. It was also notable that the suspects used a smash-and-grab method almost exclusively when some other cases in the Park City area involve burglars entering unlocked vehicles.
Nakaishi said the estimated damages to the vehicles that were targeted in the Park City is $400 apiece, putting the total above $7,000 not including the items that were taken.
The Police Department in June said the victims lost personal items like purses in the Park City cases. The police at that time indicated it appeared the break-ins were the work of an organized ring that struck quickly and then moved to another location.
The Sheriff’s Office at that time said the locations of the break-ins were “heavily populated” when the break-ins occurred. The Sheriff’s Office said in June losses included cash, checks, bank cards and credit cards. There were also Social Security cards taken, the Sheriff’s Office said in June.
The Police Department said authorities in Utah County recovered some of the items stolen in Park City in Provo Canyon and Orem shortly after the break-ins.
Some of the break-ins logged in Park City occurred in well-traveled places, such as outside a baseball game at Park City High School and at sporting events at the Quinn’s Junction fields complex. The reports to the police were filed at a rapid pace as some of them were logged within minutes of each other.
Anybody with additional information about the cases may contact the Police Department at 615-5500 or the Sheriff’s Office at 615-3600.
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