CEDAR CITY – Police are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects involved in a recent string of vehicle burglaries.
Cedar City Police Chief Darin Adams authorized the issuance of the reward following more than 15 reports of vehicles recently broken into or entered without authorization.
“That’s a high number of burglaries even for Cedar City this time of year when these types of crimes are always higher than average,” Adams said.
The vast majority of thefts have been in the Fiddler’s Canyon area but there have been a few on Leigh Hill and other parts of town, police Sgt. Jerry Womack said.
The police chief said he decided to offer the reward after it became apparent from various crime scenes that authorities were dealing with serial burglars. With no leads on the horizon, Adams said he is hopeful the money will offer an incentive for those with information to step forward.
“So many times people ask how they can help and we thought that maybe offering an award would get the people who may have some information on these crimes to step forward,” Adams said. “They can do it completely anonymous so there’s no risk involved.”
The suspects broke the window of the vehicles in a few of the incidents, but many more have been done when the vehicle was unlocked. It’s a message police stress all the time, hoping residents will listen and lock up their valuables and their vehicles.
“Property crimes are crimes of opportunity so if people keep their car doors locked and their valuables inside their homes instead of in their cars they are a lot less likely to fall victim to a vehicle burglary. If a thief walks by your car and it’s locked and they don’t see anything inside they’re probably going to keep walking,” Adams said. “The same holds true for the home. People need to lock their doors and windows.”
While these types of crimes happen all year-round, they seem to escalate during the holiday season along with other types of property crimes such as home burglaries.
“The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people often become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime,” Womack said. “We can never be too careful, too prepared, or too aware.”
Cedar City Police Department compiled some holiday safety tips to help residents remain safe and to keep their valuables secure through the Christmas season.
- If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.
- Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with tinted windows.
- Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
- Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation of thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight. Always lock your car, even at home.
- Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door. Never leave them in the shopping cart unattended.
- When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
- Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
- Keep your doors and windows locked, even when you are home. This includes your vehicle.
- Don’t advertise on social media that you may be going on a trip or out of town.
- Consider placing indoor and outdoor lights on a timer. Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
- Have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up mail and newspapers.
- Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the doors and windows of your home.
- If you are expecting a package and aren’t going to be home arrange for the package to be left with a neighbor rather than on your front porch.
- Break boxes and packaging down as much as possible to avoid advertising to potential thieves what you’ve purchased this holiday season.
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