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Police badge, AR-15 style rifle among items stolen from undercover SWAT vehicle

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Posted at 4:14 PM, Aug 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-24 19:44:20-04

UPDATE: A follow up press release from Heber City Police Department officials sent Sunday afternoon indicated that the stolen vehicle was recovered Sunday morning in the area of 1700 South Pearl Ave. in Salt Lake City. The other stolen items have not been recovered.

Previous story continues below:

HEBER CITY, Utah – Police are searching for a suspect or suspects who burglarized an undercover SWAT vehicle during a string of break-ins. The stolen items include police weapons, equipment and a badge.

According to a press release from the Heber City Police Department, the suspect or suspects stole a police badge, an AR-15 type rifle, a Glock pistol, a shotgun and SWAT equipment that included body armor, a helmet, uniforms and ammunition. In total the stolen equipment is worth about $10,000, according to police.

The thefts occurred late Friday night. Police stated that four houses away from the SWAT vehicle, an amplifier was taken from inside a truck, while a third vehicle was stolen. The stolen vehicle is a 1998 Toyota Corolla with Utah license plate C791PC. The car is tan with a red trunk.

"I worked hard for my stuff, and for it to be stolen like that, I can't even imagine going and stealing someone's car, it's not fair," said Chris Torres, who owns both the truck and Toyota.

"They're going to catch these guys," Torres said. "I have a feeling, they better catch those guys. It's not fair. They need to be taught a lesson."

Police have no witnesses or evidence. However, they do have a lot of concerns.

"Very brazen, very brazen, to walk down the street and break into cars," said Officer Xela Thomas. "This is very terrifying. It's imperative that we get these police tools off the street so they cannot be used in a crime."

One of the police's biggest worries is that the suspect or suspects will use the stolen equipment, specifically the badge and uniform, to dress up like police officers and cause more trouble.

According to police, the officer was following department protocol, by keeping the guns in a locked case inside the car. Police said the suspects used some sort of tool to gain access. They aren't sure whether the car was specifically targeted.

"I'm very concerned, it's very frightening to think this has happened," said neighbor Julie Carroll, who said from now on she is going to make sure her car is parked in the garage.

Police ask anyone with information about the thefts or missing equipment and vehicle to contact Wasatch County Dispatch officials at 435-654-1411.