SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- Residents in a South Salt Lake condo complex say they’re frustrated someone keeps targeting their cars as part of what they say is a rash of smash-and-grab break ins.
Part of the problem—police aren’t even aware of the string of thefts, resident Jacob Barzee explained.
In a parking lot across the street from the Central Pointe condos near the corner of 2100 South and Main Street, mounds of glass dot the ground.
Barzee pointed to two piles of glass, indicating the evidence still left from two break-ins that he dealt with first-hand.
It started last month, when he said someone stole from a visiting friend’s car.
“They left their car outside and left a makeup bag in the bottom,” he said, of his friends. “When they came out the next morning, their car had been broken into for the makeup bag.”
Then a week later, a different friend came to visit and experienced, “her back window had been broken into for donation bags.”
He said the donation bags were filled with old clothes.
Not even two weeks after that, thieves targeted Barzee’s car.
“They saw blankets in the back of our car, and they broke into our car thinking the blankets were hiding something,” he said.
Instead, there was nothing under the pile of blankets and Barzee said the person or people came away with nothing.
He got stuck with the bill from the broken window—$260. His friend with the stolen donation bags, he said, paid a $500 deductible to replace their $1,000 back window.
Barzee posted a note in his complex, and said several people reached out to him to tell them they, too, had their cars broken into.
In speaking with the HOA, he discovered they’d also received similar reports spanning from the parking lot across the complex, to the condo building’s gated lot, to the garage.
“It's been really a rash,” he said. “We didn't have this kind of experience last year.”
Barzee said he and his friends filed the three reports for each break in, but he learned that almost no other residents went to police.
He said without those reports, there’s not as much of a chance for police to investigate and catch the criminals.
“That's the only tool we have to solve this sort of thing,” he said.
He’s now brainstorming possible solutions, and urges anyone who experiences a car break in to file a report.
“It makes it so that we can accurately portray crime in an area, and identify where we should be taking care of those sorts of things,” he said.
South Salt Lake Police said Thursday evening that they are not aware of any substantial reports of car break ins, in that area. They did say that 2100 South sees a lot of foot traffic, making the area of the condo vulnerable to that kind of crime.
Police said they heavily patrol 2100 South. They recommend people don’t leave anything behind in their car, as thieves might break in even if the visible item is not valuable.