WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- More than 6,000 cars were stolen last year in Utah, and police use special tactics to recover as many of those stolen cars as possible.
About four times each year, police go on a sweep to recover stolen cars and catch suspects. This weekend, FOX 13 News was invited to ride along with Sgt. Robert Hamilton of the West Valley City Police Department.
There were dozens of officers out looking this weekend, and they were assisted by a helicopter. The first stop officers made was at a motel, where three suspects in a robbery were spotted along with a stolen vehicle.
Police pursued a suspect in a stolen Subaru, but the suspect was driving recklessly so police terminated the pursuit for safety reasons. Hamilton said Subarus are among the cars most commonly stolen.
“You’re gonna get a lot of Honda Civics, a lot of Honda Accords, Subarus are big right now, bullet bikes are big right now,” he said.
During similar operations in the past, as many as 50 cars have been recovered in one night.
“This has actually been a slower op on vehicle recoveries, but it's been a big op for fugitive recovery,” Hamilton said of this weekend’s efforts.
Another officer spotted a burglary suspect in West Valley City, and police brought in a K9 to prevent the man from escaping as officers approached.
“We were able to come upon him in a vehicle without him knowing we were there,” Hamilton said. “Before he knew what was going on, he was being taken into custody. Nobody got hurt, nobody got injured.”
The final number of cars recovered in this special operation is not available just yet, but the numbers are expected to be in the dozens.