Thief uses doggie door in WVC home invasion, car theft

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WEST VALLEY CITY -- Police are searching for a car thief who broke into a home in West Valley City Sunday morning and got away with the homeowner's car.

The incident happened at about 5:15 a.m. Sunday, while the couple inside was asleep in their bed.

Police said the burglar came into the house through a doggie door and left through the garage with the homeowner's 1998 Lexus.

“It's just scary,” homeowner Robert Lind said. “You never expect it to happen to you.”

The homeowner said the suspect came through a side gate and used the doggie door to unlock the back door.

Robert Lind heard his dogs barking and came running after the suspect, who at that time was just backing out of the garage.

“I chased him, and I just tried to grab him by the shirt to try to stop him, but he just threw me like a rag doll out of the car," he said.

Police said this is an unusual crime because of the time of day when it occurred, as most burglaries happen in the middle of the day when people are at work. Investigators also say it’s unlikely the suspect came into the house with the intention of taking the car.

“I think it was probably just a victim of circumstance,” said Lt. LaMonte Cox with West Valley City Police Department. “I doubt if he went in their house thinking he was going to steal their car. He probably thought he could find money, or drugs or something and just saw the keys.”

The victim describes the burglar as a Hispanic male in his early to mid-twenties who was wearing a white and black baseball hat.

Investigators ask that you keep an eye out for a white 1998 Lexus ES 300, with a grey stripe and the license plate A18 5SV. If you have a tip in the case you are asked to call West Valley Police at 801-840-4000.