West Jordan residents say ‘Operation Rio Grande’ has caused spike in crime in their neighborhood

Posted at 9:44 PM, Sep 20, 2017

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Several cities are seeing an uptick of crime, and residents believe it’s because of "Operation Rio Grande" forcing criminals out of downtown Salt Lake City and into their neighborhoods.

“Bang! Drove the truck right through the garage door,” said Stacey Sterner, who has lived in West Jordan since the '70s.

It was a few weeks ago when a man walked in through the Sterner’s side door of their West Jordan home. Seconds later, the culprit crashes through the garage, driving away with their truck.

“It is really scary,” Sterner said. “They’re just getting braver and braver."

Almost all of the homes in a West Jordan neighborhood have been hit, including the Sterner's neighbors, who decided to start a neighborhood watch as each crime is more brazen than the last.

“They will use a crowbar to break into your home, cameras don't seem to deter them,” said Kelly Wood, who started the neighborhood watch.

Just a couple streets away, one homeowner woke up in the middle of the night after his dogs started barking relentlessly.

“He peeked down the stairs and there was a man standing at our front door,” said Allie of West Jordan.

Her husband chased two men out of their home.

“I have a 7-year-old little girl I left on the couch, my mom was on the couch, she watched the man walk through the house,” Allie said.

Not only did they steal thousands of dollars worth of things inside their home, but the criminals cleared out their trailer and now they don't feel safe.

“Just fear; my daughter is sleeping in my bed, it’s scary,” Allie said.

Residents say they are working closely with West Jordan police and that officers have been very helpful. Homeowners plan to continue their neighborhood watch.