The Tooele County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in curbing a spate of daytime burglaries in northeast Tooele Valley.
More than 10 homes in Erda, Stansbury Park and Lake Point have been burglarized over the past month. Det. Sgt. Dave Garcia said they believe a group of men in their 20s or 30s, likely from Salt Lake Valley, are responsible for all of the burglaries.
The homes were vacant and were burglarized sometime between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Garcia said almost all of the homes were locked, and the burglars got in by breaking through windows, busting doors and, in one case, apparently going through a doggy door.
The targeted homes, generally in quiet, rural neighborhoods near the highway, may have been watched beforehand to see when the homeowner would be gone or may have been targets of opportunity.
The sergeant said the burglars have made off with significant hauls of televisions, video game systems, guns, tools, credit cards, check books and, in a burglary in Erda Tuesday afternoon, the homeowner’s vehicle was stolen. The vehicle, a green older model Ford Windstar van, was parked in the garage.
The van matched the description of a vehicle used in an attempted burglary that also took place Tuesday afternoon in Erda, Garcia said.
In each of the burglaries, evidence has been scarce.
“There’s no physical evidence. They’re not leaving too much behind,” he said.
Investigators are following up on a few promising leads, but in the meantime, the department lacks the resources to increase patrols in the areas being hit the hardest.
That’s where, Garcia said, the public will hopefully step in.
“We just don’t have the manpower, with all of the budget cuts we’ve had, and we can’t afford to pay people the overtime to get out and help, so we need the public’s help,” he said.
In three of the cases, neighbors have recalled seeing a vehicle pull into the driveway of the house, someone getting out to knock on the front door, and then two to three men going around the back of the house, Garcia said.
“If someone sees something strange, call the police, like if there’s someone knocking on the door,” he said. “That’s when they need to call us, not when the car leaves, because it’s not going to hurt us to see what’s going on.”
The burglars have apparently been using different vehicles, but observed vehicles have included a newer model red Ford F-150, a dark green older model Ford Taurus, and the green Ford Windstar .
If someone sees something strange, said Garcia, they are encouraged to immediately call Tooele County Dispatch at 435-882-5600 option 1.