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James Cook

Homeowner hopes to catch car burglars by sharing video

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

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MAGNA — A homeowner whose vehicle was burglarized early Monday morning shared surveillance video with KSL News Wednesday in hopes it will help police catch the two thieves.

James Cook said there had been some crime in his neighborhood, near 6600 South and 8400 West, so he installed security cameras outside his house. He even posted a sign that says "security cameras are in use," but that didn't deter a couple of thieves.

The surveillance video shows it was just before sunrise when a car pulled up outside Cook's home. He and his wife, Denise Saunders, said the whole thing is unnerving.

"The way they just come up, it's like they don't have a worry at all," Cook said.

"Actually, it was scary," Saunders said. "It was really scary knowing that there was someone outside of our house and we didn't hear a thing — nothing."

A female prowler went straight to Saunders' car, opened the passenger-side door — which was unlocked — and rummaged through the vehicle.

"I was really mad — more mad at myself for leaving my stuff in there," Saunders said.

The male thief tried the handles of the other two vehicles in the driveway. He also shined a flashlight to see inside the windows.

The two were there less than 2 minutes and got away with Saunders' purse.

The couple didn't know what had happened until a police officer, responding to another car break-in, knocked on their door.

"He was patrolling to see if anyone else had been hit, and he saw the blankets (on the driveway), and that's what made him come to our house," Cook said.

The female had tossed out blankets that were in Saunders' car. No windows were, broken but the thieves left other signs they had been there.

"The center console had been opened up; the glove box was open," Cook said.

The thieves tried to use one of Saunders' credit cards at a gas station near their house but were unsuccessful because they didn't know her PIN. She's since canceled her cards.

In addition to sharing his video with KSL News, Cook also posted it on Facebook. He wants people to see it, in hopes someone will recognize the thieves before they hit again.

"They really need to be taken off the street," he said.

West Valley Police said they did get one other report of a car burglary in the Cook's and Saunders' neighborhood on Monday. They said Cook's surveillance video could help the case, especially because they had no leads to go on as of Wednesday.

If you recognize the thieves or have information that might be helpful to investigators, contact the West Valley Police Department at 801-840-4000.


Sandra Yi

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