Utes basketball coach helps cops catch a crook

Posted at 8:54 PM, Oct 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-04 22:54:41-04

SALT LAKE CITY --  For the second time in the last few weeks, the University of Utah’s head basketball coach has helped the school catch a suspected thief.

Last weekend, Coach Larry Krystkowiak caught an alleged bike thief in the act, and this week he helped the school catch a burglar who he said has been stealing from different university departments for about three weeks.

Krystkowiak said he came in to work one day and noticed new computers and video projectors were missing from his office, and he said soon after that, other offices on campus were hit. The coach said the staff caught a suspicious man headed into the swimming offices last weekend, but they let him go.

The staff eventually began circulating a picture of the suspect, and on Tuesday two staff members for the basketball team saw the man, followed him and then cornered him in a locker room until University police arrived.

Krystkowiak said the alleged thief was bold.

"Everybody was walking around on pins and needles,” he said. “It’s hard to have your stuff stolen once, but then to know that somebody has got that kind of access where they’re coming back. I mean, you have to think about the timing, Saturday night, he gets caught at the swim coach’s door, gets his keys taken away and yet he’s back here Monday afternoon. I mean, that takes a lot of gumption to pull that off.”

Krystkowiak said police told him they discovered the man had a hotel room in town where he was selling a lot of the stolen property online. Officials said it wasn't clear how the suspect had obtained the keys he had used to access the offices.