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Police have possible lead in 'professional' burglary cases

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26 2012 10:31 a.m. MDT

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Police have named a person of interest in connection with a recent burglary at TJ Maxx that investigators called the work of a "professional."

Detectives want to question Roderick Wade about a burglary at TJ Maxx, 6995 S. 1300 East, on Sept. 22 and at Michael's Arts and Crafts, 1128 E. Fort Union Blvd., in July. In each incident, a burglar cut through a wall or ceiling to reach the store's safe and was successfully able to disable the alarm system.

Wade was named a person of interest thanks to what police admit was a "lucky break" in the case. About a year ago, a citizen had his laptop fixed at a computer store in West Valley City. For whatever reason, the person took a photo of the man fixing his computer and kept it on his phone for a year, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Mark Askerlund.

That person sent a copy of the picture to police this week. Askerlund said it appears to be the same man caught on a surveillance recording of the TJ Maxx burglary.

Wade has an extensive criminal history with convictions in multiple states, including Utah, Texas, Arizona, Ohio and California, Askerlund said. His exact birth date and social security number aren't known because he has used so many different ones over the years, he said.

When he was incarcerated at the Salt Lake County in 2009 on a conviction of felony burglary, he said he was born in March of 1959, according to court records. He successfully completed his sentence, including prison probation, in 2011. At that time, court officials told him he was free to move back to Texas to live.

Askerlund said Wade has no known family ties to Utah and still has a Texas driver's license. He said it is possible that Wade left Utah after the TJ Maxx burglary.

Anyone with information about Wade can call police at 801-840-4000.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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