Auto burglaries increase in Cedar City

CEDAR CITY – Cedar City Police Department has reported a sharp increase in auto burglaries since the beginning of 2014.

In 2013, the Cedar City Police Department averaged 10 auto burglaries per month. Since the beginning of this year, there have been 15 reported incidents and an additional 10 that were not initially reported to law enforcement. The additional incidents were discovered through investigations, recovering stolen property and interviewing suspects. At least 40 percent of the auto burglaries this year have not been reported.

Typically, when police arrest auto burglary suspects, they find that these suspects have committed the crime multiple times with multiple victims. In most cases, large quantities of stolen property are recovered. The recovered stolen property is matched with the crimes that have been reported and returned to the victims. Many times the police recover property that they know was stolen, but are unaware who to return it to because the specific incident has not been reported.

It is important to realize that Cedar City is not immune to crime, the report stated. Two simple actions will decrease your chances of having things stolen from your automobile: first, secure your vehicle, and second, remove any valuables from inside.

Most of the auto burglaries reported in Cedar City last year occurred when the vehicle was left unlocked. Auto burglary is generally an opportunistic crime. If the suspect sees that your vehicle is unlocked or you have valuables out in the open, you are more likely to be a target. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to leave valuables inside your car, place them underneath the seat or in the trunk so they are out of view. Following these two tips will cause most would-be thieves to look elsewhere, for an easier target.

Earlier, in January, the Cedar City Police Department arrested Matthew Mahar, 24, of Cedar City for multiple property crimes including auto burglary. During this investigation police recovered multiple items that were believed to be stolen, yet were not reported to police.

Detectives are now investigating four juveniles and one adult in relation to several auto burglaries that have occurred recently. During the investigation multiple pieces of property have been recovered and are believed to be stolen, however, the police do not know who the property belongs to.

The Cedar City Police Department would like to encourage residents to contact the police if you are or have recently been a victim of any crime. Remember to secure your vehicles and remove valuables from inside. Finally, please report any suspicious persons or activity to police.

Submitted by: Cedar City Police Department

Ed. note: Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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