EAST MILLCREEK, Utah — It's one of the most unsettling feelings in the world: Walking out to find your car has been burglarized, or even worse, stolen.
That's the reality for an area in East Millcreek with several homes and cars being hit over a 4-hour time span Friday morning.
“It’s a very sick feeling,” said Scottie Rigby, who had two cars stolen from inside his garage. "I feel like we’ve almost gone through all the stages of grief, because it's, like, shock and then sadness and then anger.”
At least two others in the neighborhood had their cars broken into as well, including Russ Randall, who caught the perpetrator on his surveillance camera.
“He goes through the truck a couple of times, and then he bends a latch on my gate and he goes in my back yard, which I think is pretty brazen,” Randall said. “Yeah, [I] don’t like the feeling… I have a young family -- that changes things.”
This community has seen break-ins in the past, but not like this, Randall says. This is the first time thieves have gone into his backyard and attempted to break into his garage.
Jared Mann said someone got into his truck and opened his garage using the opener that was inside.
“There’s certainly a feeling of, you know, your personal space… your safety being violated,” Mann said. “They knew what they were looking for -- they were looking for keys.”
Thankfully, nothing was taken from inside his garage. But strangely, the opener and his hat from inside his truck were found on a neighbor’s lawn a few houses away.
All of these are unfortunately symptoms of a bigger problem.
According to the Unified Police Department (which covers several cities and towns in Salt Lake County that don't have their own police force), 1,686 car thefts were reported from April 2019 to March 2020. From April 2020 - March 2021, there were 2,148.
That is an additional 462 cars in just a year's time.
“Something has to change because it's getting pretty out of control," Rigby said.
Here are the statistics from UPD on vehicle thefts between the two time periods:
|APR 2019 - MAR 2020||APR 2020 - MAR 2021|
|*** PRIVATE INFORMATION ***||1||1|
|STOL VEH-THEFT/USE VEH OTH CRI||1||8|
|STOLEN VEH-BREACH OF TRUST||104||90|
|STOLEN VEH-COMM'L TRUCK||-||5|
|STOLEN VEH-INSIDE-REC'D INSIDE||91||63|
|STOLEN VEH-INSIDE-REC'D OUTSID||70||63|
|STOLEN VEH-OTHER MTR VEHS||15||20|
|STOLEN VEH-OTHER NON-MTR VEHS||15||20|
|STOLEN VEH-OUTSIDE-REC'D INSID||510||714|
|STOLEN VEH-POSS STOLEN VEH||16||26|
|STOLEN VEH-RECEIVE STOLEN VEH||66||61|
|STOLEN VEH-RECREATIONAL VEH||11||11|
|STOLEN VEH-REPORT UNFOUNDED||1||-|
|STOLEN VEH-STRIP STOLEN VEH||6||2|
|STOLEN VEH-THEFT/STRIP OF VEH||-||1|
|STOLEN VEH-UNAUTH USE JOYRIDE||11||9|
|STOLEN VEH-VEH THEFT FREE TEXT||5||33|
|STOLEN VEH-VEHICLE THEFT||762||1020|