ST. GEORGE — Santa Clara-Ivins Police are investigating a number of home and vehicle burglaries that took place early Saturday morning and issued a warning to residents to keep their vehicles locked and their homes secured.
The incident that set the wide-scale investigation in motion took place at 3:30 a.m. Saturday when an officer was dispatched to a prowler report on Dutchman Drive in Santa Clara.
The officer arrived to find the individual who called in the alleged prowler had left in a vehicle and was following the suspects toward Red Mountain Drive. From there, the suspect’s vehicle was lost as it continued down along the wash behind Red Mountain, Santa Clara Ivins Police Sgt. Reed Briggs said.
Additional officers and K-9 units were called in and began scouring the area in search of the suspects, Briggs said, but they were unable to locate them.
While canvassing the area, officers located video surveillance footage that showed two suspects who appeared to be white males wearing dark hoodies, gloves and red bandanas that covered their faces.
Residents also reported seeing a minivan in the area “that appeared to be suspicious,” Briggs said.
As the morning wore on, officers began going door-to-door speaking with residents, which is when they learned of a number of the break-ins, and police began looking for tell-tell signs as they made their way through various neighborhoods.
“Suspects also left quite a few car doors open, which tipped us off that a crime had occurred,” Briggs said.
A number of the residences were occupied at the time of the alleged burglaries.
A number of reported burglaries were discovered during the canvass that covered multiple neighborhoods, including Bella Vista, Dutchman and Canyonview Drive, homes behind Gubler Park, near Red Mountain and other areas nearby. Officers were able to determine that a majority of the reports took place in Santa Clara, while a few were reported in Ivins.
Police were able to determine that the rash of burglaries began at around midnight, Briggs said, and then continued for the next three hours or so — at least until police were called out on the prowler report at 3:30 a.m.
In all, there were 18 burglaries involving either a home or a vehicle. One consistent theme found in every incident reported during Saturday’s early morning spree involved homes or vehicles that were left unlocked.
“There were no reports of any property damage or forced entry, so these guys either entered by opening the door or entering through an open door,” he said.
Briggs also said there have been other similar incidents reported within the last 24 hours that may be related to the burglaries reported over the weekend, but it is unclear at this point in the investigation if the crimes are in fact connected.
This is not the first report of an uptick in crimes reported in the area. On Friday, a string of burglaries reported at area trailheads, including one at Snow Canyon State Park for Johnson’s Arch and Scout Cave, as well as an incident reported at the Anasazi Valley Trailhead, were reported.
The perpetrators broke into the vehicles and allegedly got away with nearly $10,000 in personal items, money and credit cards, prompting the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety put out a public service announcement Friday reminding people to lock their vehicles and take all their valuables with them or keep them out of sight, especially at trailheads or in public places.
A similar warning was issued Monday when Briggs cautioned all residents to keep their vehicles locked and all entries to the home secured.
“Keep an eye on your neighbors, and if you see that a garage door has been left open — then let them know so we can keep each other safe,” Briggs said.
Anyone with information that might help police identify the suspects responsible for the alleged burglaries or information that can help identify a logo imprinted on one of the hoodies the suspect was wearing, is being asked to contact the Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department at 435-627-4300.
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