WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Police are investigating a couple of break-in sprees in West Valley City, and they say the thieves targeted cars parked near USANA Amphitheatre during concerts.
Most of the car theft victims were parked outside of the USANA parking lots. Specifically, along 6055 West, just across 5400 South from the amphitheater.
Police responded to the latest string of smash-and-grabs after the Slipknot concert on Thursday evening.
While thousands of people enjoyed rock and metal music, burglars were on the prowl.
Brian Jemison works at one of the businesses on 6055 West. He is used to seeing cars line the road during concerts. He was outside taking a break when he said a man walked up to him and said his one of his car windows was smashed in.
The man pointed out other cars along the road, all with windows broken out. He told Jemison that his girlfriend's purse was stolen, and the burglars had begun to charge the credit card.
"There were several purchases that they've already tried to make," Jemison said.
A fun evening at a concert was ruined.
"He wasn't very happy," Jemison said.
Neither were several other people, who West Valley Police said came out to their cars Thursday night to find the same thing.
Lt. Steve Burke said at least one vehicle in the USANA parking lot was broken into. The rest of the vehicles had been parked up and down 6055 West.
Earlier this summer, he said he took six reports of vehicle break-ins along that road following a concert at USANA.
"People are leaving their purses and stuff like that and going to the concert," he said. "Then somebody walks by, smashes the window, takes the purse out."
Knowing the victims are oblivious and tied up for a few hours at a concert, Burke indicated that the thieves immediately begin charging the credit cards.
He said many of the charges were made at a Walmart nearby, and that the burglars bought gift cards.
With USANA offering free parking in their parking lot, Burke recommended people park there instead of on the street. He said West Valley Police officers patrol those lots.
People park on those roads, Burke indicated, because they feel it's quicker and easier to leave at the end of the night. Technically, Burke explained that no parking is allowed on 6055 West and other roads in the area during USANA concerts.
"You are better off to park on USANA's property than you are on those streets, because we don't patrol them regularly," he said.
The man who Jemison talked to explained that he came out because his phone was sending alerts of card charges that he wasn't making.
Even if the man had the heads up, the alerts were a little too late.
"It was pretty brazen," Jemison said," because it was still day, you know, it was still light out. It's kind of crazy people would do that."