One man has been arrested and another is under investigation for a string of burglaries in Lake Point, Stansbury Park, Erda and Tooele.
The burglaries, which occurred to at least 10 homes mostly during daylight hours in quiet neighborhoods near SR-36, have been a plague for the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office, which has had too many reductions in force and budget cuts to increase patrols in those areas.
After a public plea, however, the community stepped in to help officers, said Tooele County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Johnson.
“We appreciate the public—we’ve been getting tons of phone calls,” he said. “They’ve really stepped up and we’ve gotten numerous calls and have been able to check up on those.”
The increase in reports of suspicious activity, as well as other investigative leads, helped officers close in on the case, he added. On Monday, a detective issued a bulletin for an attempt to locate a red 2011 Ford F150 believed to be used in some of the burglaries.
That truck was found at the 7-Eleven in Tooele, Johnson said, but the suspect believed to be driving it, Riley Snyder, 31, had been arrested the night before by officers from the Murray City Police Department. Capt. Paul Wimmer of the Tooele City Police Department said investigators believe that Snyder may be connected to recent burglaries at a tire store and mobile phone business.
Sgt. Dave Garcia of the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office said investigators were going to question Snyder at the Duchesne County Jail where he is being held, in hopes of getting more information on the thefts as well as the identities of his cohorts.
Those officers were tipped off by Snyder’s girlfriend, who said she believed he had been burglarizing homes. Johnson said deputies got a search warrant for the truck and found four rims and tires, shotguns and rifles and several batteries inside, noting that batteries were stolen in several of the thefts. A checkbook from a burglary in Tooele was also found, he said.
As of Wednesday, no formal charges had been filed locally, but Snyder, who is listed in court records as living in Neola, Myton, Roosevelt and Farr West within the last year, has had two burglary- and theft-related cases filed against him this month in Duchesne and Uintah Counties.
In the Uintah County case, filed on Oct. 21, Snyder is charged with theft by receiving stolen property, a third-degree felony; possession or use of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony; and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. A warrant was issued for his arrest Monday after he failed to appear to a court hearing on that charge.
The Duchesne County case, filed last Wednesday, accuses Snyder of burglary, a second-degree felony; obstructing justice, a third-degree felony; and theft, a class B misdemeanor. A warrant was also issued for Snyder in that matter last Thursday.
Johnson said while the investigation is still ongoing, and that public calls about suspicious activity are still welcome, detectives feel they are getting a handle on the situation.
“We believe we have the main suspect in custody,” he said.