Car burglars hit dealerships, take GPS devices

Published: Monday, Aug. 13 2012 1:41 p.m. MDT

AMERICAN FORK — About 80 cars were vandalized and two dozen navigation systems stolen at two car dealerships in Salt Lake and Utah counties over the weekend.

In American Fork, 17 F-250 and F-350 pickup trucks had the driver's side windows smashed at Ken Garff, 597 E. Auto Mall Drive. Of those 17 break-ins, 16 vehicles had their navigation systems stolen, said American Fork Police Sgt. Gregg Ludlow. The systems are worth an estimated $4,000 each.

In addition, the side and rear windows of 21 unmarked police cars were busted out, Ludlow said. The cars had just been turned back into the dealership after their leases expired. The vandalisms occurred sometime between 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.

Investigators believe the pickup trucks were targeted specifically for the navigation systems and the police vehicles, which didn't have anything missing from their interiors, were a crime of opportunity.

Ludlow said American Fork police detectives were in contact with South Jordan police who are investigating 42 vehicle break-in in their jurisdiction over the weekend at Jerry Seiner South Jordan, 10487 S. Jordan Gateway. The break-ins were very similar, including the stealing of many navigation systems.

"(The two incidents) do appear they were connected," he said.

Detectives believe more than one person was responsible for the burglaries. No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon. Ludlow said investigators were following up on several leads.

Pat Reavy

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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