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HOLLADAY — Unified police detectives have arrested two people but are looking for others suspected in a recent uptick in home break-ins in Holladay and Millcreek.
One Holladay neighborhood west of Olympus High School has seen five home burglaries in the past week, according to neighbors.
“It’s important that people are watching for suspicious people in their neighborhood,” Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said.
Burglars often scope out the areas in their cars, then knock on front doors to see who is home. If no one answers, an accomplice will go to the back and break in there, he said.
Hoyal said officers recently arrested two people suspected of committing some of the recent burglaries, but detectives believe there are others who are involved in the burglary surge. The two people were later identified by police as Colton Olsen, 19, and Melissa Prather, 25.
Devin Meier’s home on Suada Drive was hit on Monday during the short 45 minutes that his wife was away from the house running errands.
“Every time I go in my bedroom, I just feel so violated somebody was walking around in there,” Meier said.
The burglars unsuccessfully tried to pry open a rear bathroom window, then got inside through a sliding glass window by using a crowbar. The burglars rummaged through the house and stole the couple’s laptop and his wife’s wedding ring, Meier said.
Witnesses told Meier the suspects actually parked a vehicle in the carport during the heist.
“After being hit, I learned how vulnerable we were,” Meier said. “The people that got us wanted to look like they were coming to our house in case anybody saw them.”
Meier said the configuration of his home may have also made his family more vulnerable.
“We feel like we were a target because we had a carport,” he said. “They were waiting to see when both cars were gone.”
Meier said he plans to install an alarm and is considering installing cameras and finishing the carport.
“To think that they were scouting my house, it’s just disgusting,” he said.
Hoyal advises residents to, among other things, hide valuables in uncommon places and to report suspicious people and vehicles spotted on the streets.
As a result of the recent break-ins, neighbors have been much more vigilant, homeowner Marcia Smith said. She said she has even conducted several neighborhood patrols on her own recently.
“We feel bad for people who maybe feel paranoid in our neighborhood now — like ‘people are following me!’” she said. “That’s right! We’re pretty suspicious.”
Anyone with tips about burglaries can call a Unified police hotline at 801-424-4050.