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Auto burglaries with a particular Modus Operandi (Method of Operating - MO) are making the rounds. Protect your personal belongings while parked in more isolated areas.

*** PRESS RELEASE - February 17, 2021 ***

Deputies and Detectives with the Utah County Sheriff's Office are investigating a series of auto burglaries that have occurred, and continue to occur, over the past several months. This particular crime involves people entering vehicles (not their own!) and stealing items inside. In cases like this different perpetrators do different things. One might only enter cars that are unlocked. Others may break, or "punch", a door lock or break a window. Some take only cash and loose change. Some take electronic items like phones and iPad type devices. Some will steal purses and wallets. Others will take firearms if present while others will not. And in these examples today, the suspects take only credit and debit cards. And they enter the car by using some kind of "punch" device or tool to break the door lock. Total time inside the car is likely less than 30 seconds.  And they happen during the day at places like Vivian Park, Bridal Veil Falls, or Nunn's Park in Provo Canyon.  They also happen at areas like nearby trailhead parking lots above Alpine and Aspen Grove.

After stealing financial transaction cards - credit and debit - from one or more cars, these suspects will go immediately to stores like Target, BestBuy, Ulta Beauty Supply, Simply Mac, or others, and make purchases. These purchases range from $100 or so up to $1,000-$2,000. They also purchase hundreds of dollars worth of cash cards, usually in $200-$500 amounts. Why cash cards? Because they are almost impossible to trace.

In one case two women, the suspects, went to a Target store in Orem. After gathering the items they wanted to "purchase" (steal) the suspects went to a self-checkout register. Using at least 5 different credit/debit cards, stolen from one car, belonging to two different women, these two suspects made several different purchases valued at $2,419.05. $2,200.00 of that was in cash cards. These two women - suspects - spent over thirteen (13) minutes at the self-checkout.  13 minutes at a self-checkout seems much longer than normal for that kind of register.

Sadly, this kind of crime is not unique. If you recognize any of the people in these pictures (I know they're not great photos) please call Central Utah 911 dispatch at (801)794-3970.

For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office.

(801)404-1912 - Cell

Email:  jamesc@utahcounty.gov

Twitter: @SGTCannonPIO or @UCSO