Police say accused serial burglars carefully chose victims

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 25, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-25 20:15:00-05

HOLLADAY, Utah - The holiday season is known for cheer and goodwill, but police want to remind everyone that it's also the time when more burglars look for opportunities to strike.

The Sandy and Unified Police Departments recently teamed up to arrest two people accused in at least a dozen burglaries in Salt Lake County.

Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold says Joe Facello and Shantel Biggs are the prime suspects in a rash of home break-ins and burglaries over the past few months.

"And we recovered a significant amount of property from the home that was taken in residential burglaries. And they believe these individuals are tied into at least 15 to 20 total," Arnold said.

Holly, a nearby resident, says her Holladay neighborhood is usually pretty quiet, but last month, Holly says the street was crawling with police cars while detectives raided the suspects' home.

Police say Biggs and Facello even victimized their own neighbors, including a close friend of Holly's.

"While she was out of town. She had about $18,000 worth of jewelry stolen and they pinpointed it back to him," Holly said.

Detectives say the suspects carefully chose their targets, looking for homes that appeared to have no one at home, then allegedly broke in and spent hours taking items.

"They'd drive around neighborhoods looking for homes that still had snow in the driveway, obviously hadn't been plowed or shoveled for several days or no tire tracks," Arnold said. "They were taking their time and making sure they got what they wanted."

Biggs and Facello allegedly stole items like televisions, computers, sporting goods, power tools and firearms and ammo. Detectives say the pair also used personal information they stole to commit fraud and forgeries.

Arnold says that for most victims, losing their sense of security was the toughest loss of all.

"There's more than loss of property, there's also loss of peace of mind," Arnold said.

Police say that if you're planning on leaving home for the holidays, make sure neighbors know so they can shovel walks and keep an eye on your property.