A string of burglaries during the last six months is not only causing local residents and insurance adjusters concern, but is also creating a significant amount of work for the Price City Police Department.
"These burglaries are taking place while people are not home,' indicated Price Detective Scott Olsen during an interview last week. "Someone is watching people and knows when they are gone."
In one reported instance, a resident returned to home after dark and saw a light on in a bedroom the citizen never uses.
The homeowner apparently wondered why the light was on and, as the resident was pulling into the driveway, the person saw it go off.
The individual reportedly entered the house and heard someone going out the back door.
"In a couple of instances, people have come home and interfered with the burglary," pointed out Olsen. "They found materials that were going to be taken lined up on the floor in the homes."
While a few burglaries happen every year, not only in Price and in other parts of the county, the particular crimes appear to have a pattern and are numerous in number.
The crimes have all been committed in the central Price area and the majority of the incidents have happened in the late afternoon or evening hours.
"We have had a few during the day and even in the morning. The break-ins happen when people aren't home," noted Olsen.
Generally, the perpetrators make entry into the home via the rear door or windows, added the police detective. Once inside the residence, they go through the home seeming to favor jewelry, hand guns, DVD players and video games or movies.
In one incident, it appeared a lookout was positioned in front of a residence while the crime took place.
"We are asking that people be careful to lock their doors and think of security," stated the detective. "What we really need is public awareness to catch these suspects."
"Pay attention to what is going on in the neighborhood. If suspicious people are loitering in vacant lots or on a corner, report it to us," encouraged Olsen. "Get descriptions of people and license numbers of vehicles. Neighbors need to help watch their neighbors homes."
If residents suspect a crime is in progress, people should immediately call 911. If citizens witness suspicious activity, they should call Carbon County dispatch center at 637-0890 and report the matter.
In addition, Olsen cautioned local residents to refrain from leaving valuables in sight inside vehicles.
The detective also recommended that people leave lights on when they are gone from their homes. Security lighting will help resolve the problem.
"These crimes could involved people of any age. But based on some of what is being taken and some visual reports, we think the perpetrators may be between 17 and 25 years of age," noted Olsen.
The fact that items reported missing in the incidents are not showing up locally may mean the stolen property is being shipped out of town, according to the police. Or it could mean that there are underground sales of stolen property going on in the area.
"If children in a home show up with an X-Box that they told you they were able to buy for $20, you should contact us," Olsen advised Carbon County parents.
According to the law enforcement authorities, citizens providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for the crimes may be eligible for a reward. Information will be supplied by the Price City Police at 636-3190.
Due to the rash of burglary incidents, the police department recommends recording all makes, models and serial numbers of firearms. The serial number is the only way recovered firearms can be returned to victims.
Expensive jewelry should be photographed and a detailed description of the item kept. CDs and DVD movies should be labeled in some manner with a permanent marker
Serial numbers for audio, video and other expensive electronic equipment should be recorded.
Once valuables are marked, photographed and serial numbers are collected, the information should be stored in a safe location, protected from theft or fire.
The information is important not only to criminal investigators, but to insurance companies covering any loss incurred.