Police seek rightful owners of property after string of tool thefts

Posted at 8:24 PM, Oct 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-19 22:24:21-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – Police have arrested a man who they believe has been stealing tools from cars parked in a home improvement store parking lot, and now officials are working to return the stolen property to the rightful owners.

Police said 38-year-old Jared Smith admitted to stealing tools from truck beds while the vehicles were parked outside a Home Depot in Cottonwood Heights.

Smith was arrested after officers set up a decoy car with tools in the hopes of catching the suspect behind the tool thefts. Police said they observed Smith opening tool boxes on unattended vehicles, and they said he later admitted to stealing and pawning tools.

Sgt. Gary Young of the Cottonwood Heights Police Department said they are asking anyone who may have had tools stolen from them in that area to come forward.

“We have a pretty extensive pawn list of items he has pawned, and we believe most of it has been stolen in similar cases,” he said. “…Let us know it was stolen. Hopefully we can get that property returned to the owners.”

Police said the alleged thefts are believed to have taken place between Sept. 25 and Oct. 18.  Young said they have recovered more tools than have been reported stolen, so they are hoping more victims come forward. Those who believe they were victims should contact the Cottonwood Heights Police Department.