Detectives have arrested a teenager who they believe burglarized more than 100 homes since June.
Salt Lake County sheriff's detectives recovered "thousands and thousands" of dollars worth of stolen property over the weekend from a Salt Lake County home and a storage shed. An unidentified 17-year-old was booked into juvenile detention for investigation of several counts of burglary."We've verified 50 burglaries and there's more. We feel he's probably responsible for more than 100," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Capt. Bob Jack.
The youth apparently began the string of burglaries in June, hitting homes throughout Emigration Canyon, Holladay, Cottonwood and many other areas.
"He's pretty efficient," Jack said. "He's been killing us up in Emigration, driving us crazy."
Deputies, who worked with the Salt Lake Police Department, served a search warrant on a residence Thursday and searched a storage shed Friday. The youth was arrested and booked into detention later that night.
In many of the burglaries, the teen apparently broke into the homes and located the keys of cars parked in adjoining garages. He would then load the stolen goods into the vehicles and drive away.Officers recovered guns, stereos, TVs, VCRs, jewelry, bikes, cameras, figurines, phones and much more. "We feel he was probably trading it off for narcotics," Jack said.
But many of the items appear to have been taken without much thought as to their monetary value, such as stuffed animals, and even a box of pencils.
"He even stole a picture of Christ out of our house," said one of the burglar's victims, Stuart Hinckley. "He had no sense of value. That's something that could not readily be fenced."
Like other homes, Hinckley's was broken into after the burglar threw a rock through a window during the middle of the day. "That was quite a daring way to do a burglary," he said.
Besides the loss of the physical items, Hinckley said the burglary has also had an emotional effect on him and his family. The feeling of sanctity and refuge in their home is not as strong as it once was.
"It's a real shocking feeling," he said. "You feel extremely vulnerable because you feel you can't protect yourself. You're at the mercy of the crazies out there."
"Every time we go home now after being away for a couple of hours, we approach it very carefully. We approach it like someone could be in there."
But he said the burglary has had the largest impact on his children. Since the break-in, his 5-year-old son refuses to go upstairs without another member of the family accompanying him.
"I think that's pretty damaging for a child to have that feeling in his own home."