Snow Canyon State Park sees rise in vehicle break-ins

Cars crowd the Sand Dunes parking lot at Snow Canyon State Park, Utah, March 28, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — At popular trailheads in Snow Canyon State Park, there has been an increase in recent vehicle break-ins. According to a press release from the park, there have been four reported break-ins over the past three weeks with most occurring during the mid-morning or early afternoon hours.

Snow Canyon State Park Manager Kristen Comella told St. George News the rise in car break-ins is not normal for the park.

“It’s unusual to have theft problems in the park and so vehicle break-ins aren’t a common occurrence,” Comella said. “It’s not typically something we need to warn visitors about, it’s typically a very safe location.”

Comella said that she could not speculate on a possible cause for the increase in thefts and added the park has no current leads on the break-ins. The thefts occurred when people would arrive at the park, park their cars and leave to recreate. When the victims returned to their cars, most were unaware that any of their cash or credit cards had been stolen.

All of the victims claimed that they locked their cars before leaving them, and they were all uncertain how the thieves gained access to their cars.

Cars fill the West Canyon parking lot in Snow Canyon State Park, March 28, 2020 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“They came back and typically within a short period of time realized that items had been taken,” Comella said. “Either money and cash, or they were notified by their bank or credit card company that there was suspicious activity. Everyone claimed that their vehicles were locked so it does sound as though somebody is finding some way to gain access – not breaking windows or forcible entry, but they’re finding a way to get in and not triggering the car alarms.”

The press release added that Utah State Park law enforcement and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department have increased patrols in the park. Signs have also been posted at each entrance to the park to try and combat the thefts.

“We don’t want this to happen to anybody,” Comella said. “We are trying to advise that people use some common sense approaches and don’t leave items visible, don’t leave valuables in the car. It’s best just to take the valuables with them so there’s nothing to entice somebody to their vehicles.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!