This archived article was written by: Laura Strate
Three cars have been burglarized on the College of Eastern Utah campus during the first three weeks of spring semester reported campus police. Estimated worth of goods stolen is between $3,000-$3,500.
The first car was burglarized during the daytime hours of January 13. The crime took place in the parking lot north of the student center. The burglar(s) entered the car through the unlocked driver side door. A golf bag, golf clubs, CDs and other golf-related accessories were stolen.
The other crimes took place in the AJ dorm parking lot between the late hours of the 23 and the early hours of the 24. The owner of one car reported 109 CDs were stolen, none of which were burnt, and the faceplate to the stereo. The third car owner lost a snowboard, subwoofer, amp, XM radio and several CDs. Left behind in the car was a 12-gauge shotgun, new roadside air compressor and bag of tools, leading police to believe the burglar(s) had somehow been scared off before the crime was finished.
A Leatherman tool used to disassemble the amp from the third car was left at the scene. According the James Prettyman, CEU cheif-of-police, the tool has already been processed and resulted in two poor-quality fingerprints.
Both victims in the AJ parking lot burglaries had thought the cars were locked, but the crime scene showed no signs of forced entry. Both victims also admitted they had their arms filled with numerous objects at the time they believed to have locked the doors.
Prettyman says the perpentrator(s) are targeting unlocked cars. Near one car in the AJ parking were “a half of dozen cars that were just as easy, if not easier to get into if they had a slim jim or a tool like this. But there was no slim jim used; no forced entry used. The vehicles were unlocked”. The other cars had valuable objects like CDs and tools lying on the seats in clear view, but those car weren’ t touched.
Prettyman advised “not to leave anything in your car that you can’t live without.
Make sure your car is locked at all times and keep an eye out for suspiscious behavior”. Prettyman says the majority of burglary and larceny crimes are “crimes of opportunity. If the individual did not have the opportunty to take the goods, they probally wouldn’t.”
After 11 years of police experience, Prettyman has discovered an alarming statistic. Of the numerous burglaries he has investigated, only two have been the result of a broken window or a “smash and grab” type crime. The best advice Prettyman can give to prevent these crimes is the simpliest; please lock your doors.