Stolen property from car burglaries returned to victims before they knew crimes occurred

Santa Clara Ivins patrol vehicle composite image by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Property taken during a rash of vehicle burglaries in Ivins was returned to the owners within hours of the crimes thanks to a citizen’s call to 911 and a diligent officer’s efforts. It happened so quickly, the victims didn’t know they were victims until police contacted them.

The rash of burglaries took place between midnight and 4 a.m. on Thursday, and police were alerted to the crimes by an individual who called dispatch to report that he discovered a wallet and other property, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Sgt. Jaron Studley said.

Officer Matt Stoker responded and spoke to the individual who said he was driving along Tuacahn Drive when he saw the wallet in the middle of the road, Stoker said. The man pulled over to retrieve the wallet and noticed the other property nearby. Both men walked further along the road and discovered items similar to what would be found inside of a vehicle.

Stoker determined there were four victims involved and set out to identify and locate the owners of the property.

“Once Stoker found he had property from separate victims he started banging on doors and finally located the owners of the property,” Studley said.

As it turns out, the property was taken during four separate vehicle burglaries committed during the early morning hours Thursday, and all property was back in the hands of its rightful owners by 4 p.m. that same day.

Stoker said each of the owners was completely unaware that their vehicle had been broken into.

“So basically, we were able to return every single piece of property to the owners before they even knew that a crime had occurred,” Stoker said.

The Santa Clara/Ivins Department of Public Safety also issued a statement alerting residents to the recent rash of car burglaries, as well as a reminder to not leave any valuable items in their vehicles, including any guns, wallets, handbags, backpacks, prescription medication and other items.

“These are easy targets for criminals and are hard to resist. Cases like these generally go unsolved, but SCIPD will do its best to follow every lead,” the statement says.

Studley added that as with every case, police are working hard to identify the suspect or suspects involved in the early morning incidents, have gathered video surveillance of the area and have several leads they are following up on. He also commended the efforts of the man who called in, as well as Stoker’s efforts.

“That’s good police work right there,” Studley said.

Anyone with information on the recent incidents or who needs to report a vehicle burglary/attempted burglary is asked to call the Washington County Dispatch Center at 435-634-5730.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • DB October 6, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Why would someone leave their wallet in the car overnight? By mistake, I hope. Was the car even locked?

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