Thief hits woman while fleeing crime scene

6 photos
Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

MILLCREEK -- A Millcreek woman was taken to the hospital after she chased a burglar out of her home and was hit by his vehicle. Police are still looking for one or possibly two suspects.

Bernadette Bittner, 52, left her house near 3600 East and 4100 South to walk her dog early Monday morning.

When she left, the garage door was left open and the door leading into the home was unlocked.

Unified police say this provided a golden opportunity for thieves.

"Somebody really took advantage of that," said Lt. Don Hutson of the Unified Police Department.

"The fact that they were willing to run over her just to escape from this burglary says something about their mindset." Lt. Don Hutson

A man or men got in to her home through the unlocked door leading from the garage to the house. They had driven Bittner's Honda Accord out of her garage and abandoned it about a block away. They backed their white Chevy Blazer into her garage and started loading the vehicle with items from her house.

When Bittner returned around 8 a.m., she noticed nothing out of the ordinary and went inside.

She made her way to the master bathroom. That's when she was startled by a man holding an armful of her belongings, including a laptop.

"She yelled at him, he kind of threw some items at her, he tried to block her path toward him, and he ran out," Hutson said.

The thief made his way to the garage. Bittner followed and discovered her car was gone. In its place was the getaway car, loaded up with her belongings.

Bittner tried to stop him from driving away.

"She tried to kind of stop him from leaving as he jumped into the white Chevy Blazer that was parked in her stall," Hutson said. "Unfortunately she got run over a little bit as he was driving out of the garage."

Officers say she either became pinned between the SUV and the garage or was hit by the SUV door and knocked down.

Neighbors can't believe it happened. Helene Cuomo says, "You feel safe in your home, and this wasn't the case. It's sad when you can't feel safe."

Hutson says the woman has back and leg injuries. Her husband, Chris, wants the thieves caught.

"But it doesn't change her injuries. So that doesn't help," he says.

Police say crimes like this, in which criminals drive around looking for an opportunity, happen too often.

"An awful lot of people waiting to victimize us, unfortunately," Hutson said. "We have to take every precaution to make ourselves less of a target, less of a victim."


Story compiled with information from Anne Forester and Randall Jeppesen.


Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast