WEBER COUNTY — Weber County Sheriff's deputies are warning hikers, cyclists and fishermen in Ogden Canyon to keep their valuables either with them or at home — just not in their cars.
The county has seen roughly four dozen car burglaries since June 1, a trend investigators said has been magnified by people who make it far too easy for the bad guys.
Thieves have smashed windows and gotten away with readily visible laptops, iPads and cameras, things deputies maintain should be common sense to hide.
"I no longer use the word ‘common,' I use ‘basic,' because it's far from common," said Lt. Doug Coleman. "Yeah, it's very frustrating."
Coleman called Ogden Canyon a "destination" for car burglars, some of whom travel across counties because of the loot that likely waits for them.
I've got my phone and my wallet, but I have them in my [pack]. I figure if I'm going to lose them, I'm going to lose them on the trail.
–Gavin Harris, hiker
"Don't take stuff hiking. Or by all means take it hiking. Take it with you. Put it in your pack. Go. But don't take things and leave them at the trailhead," Coleman said. "It is far easier for you to keep your stuff than for me to find it."
Different people or groups were likely responsible for the various heists and detectives were working to track the culprits down, though it is an uphill battle as always to find the long-gone thieves who leave little behind in terms of clues.
Gavin Harris, who regularly visits the canyon with his family, said he was well aware of the dangers of parking in the canyon and leaving the car for a while.
"I've got my phone and my wallet, but I have them in my [pack]," Harris said. "I figure if I'm going to lose them, I'm going to lose them on the trail."
He said Monday he already had decided to change parking spots once.
"I thought this is more likely where my car would get broken into down there, so we came back out here on the road where some traffic might keep someone from breaking in," Harris said.
Whitney Palmer acknowledged the possibilities, but suggested news of the recent break-ins would make her more wary.
"I usually have a bike in my car and stuff like that," Palmer said. "I wouldn't want that to get stolen."