By KIM HAGAN
Orem police are encouraging community involvement to help catch automobile burglars, who have caused an increase of burglaries over the past weekend.
Orem had been experiencing a drop-off in the numbers of auto burglaries in previous weeks, but with nine break-ins over the weekend and four Monday night, the number seems to be going back to the average, said Lt. Doug Edwards, public information officer of the Orem Police Department
Two of the Monday burglaries were break-ins. The perpetrators broke windows to gain entry into the vehicles. A stereo, CDs, a backpack, and a CD player were taken from the cars, Edwards said.
A 1991 white BMW was also stolen from Car Source Monday night, Edwards said.
Two suspects involved in separate auto burglary were apprehended by Beaver County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday morning, Edwards said. They had been trying to pay for merchandise with a forged check that they had stolen out of an Orem car Monday night, Edwards said.
Because most auto burglaries happen at night, police find it difficult to catch the thieves in the act, Edwards said. Burglars are usually aware of headlights and can duck down to avoid being seen by a patrol car, Edwards said.
Because of this, police rely on the help of citizens to report suspicious behavior.
“If someone sees a crime in progress, call the police,” Edwards said. “Get a good physical description, try to see where they go, and stay on the phone with police to keep them updated.”
Edwards strongly suggests that citizens not confront the suspicious persons. They may have a weapon and may be dangerous. Instead, let the police take the risk, because that is what they are paid to do, Edwards said.
Shawn Patten, 21, from Payson, has called the police many times to report incidents he has seen.
“Don’t hesitate to call the police,” Patten said. “If you don’t call it in, you can’t rely on someone else to do it.”
Patten says that he is always nervous when he calls the police, but he knows he is doing the right thing.
In calling the police, use 911 in emergencies or for a crime in progress. To report a non-emergency or a past crime, call the non-emergency number for the police serving the city.