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Homeless man's spending spree prompts renewed safety tips from Utah police

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Aug 20th, 2019 @ 10:17pm | Posted - Aug 20th, 2019 @ 8:05pm


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PROVO — The recent arrest of a homeless man in Utah County who investigators say has kept law enforcers in Orem and and Provo busy has prompted renewed safety warnings from police about leaving valuables unattended in cars.

Since the beginning of the month, Eric Spencer Farr, 19, has accumulated 29 charges in five separate cases, including numerous counts of vehicle burglary, theft, and unlawfully acquiring a bank card. He also faces a charge of money laundering, a second-degree felony.

According to a Utah County Jail probable cause affidavit filed in 4th District Court for one of his cases, Farr lives in a transient camp at the Rock Canyon Trailhead.

“Eric was working with three other people to launder money that he obtained through the use of others’ credit cards and Venmo accounts,” the affidavit states, while also noting “there are up to 10 cases filed or pending” against Farr.

One victim had his iPhone and wallet containing credit cards stolen out of his car. Farr promptly bought concert tickets, made at least four transactions at University Mall including at the stores Vans, Buckle and Zumies, the affidavit states. Farr also used the man’s phone to access his Venmo account and made six transactions to his girlfriend, according to the affidavit.

Farr then used the man’s phone to make changes to several of the man’s accounts, including Netflix, PayPal, Ticketmaster and Gmail, the affidavit states.

Farr was arrested on Aug. 1 for investigation of “burglarizing multiple cars at Rock Canyon Trailhead,” the affidavit states.

Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said in at least two of those burglaries, the cars were unlocked.

He said the public needs to remember to lock their vehicles at the very least, especially if they’re leaving their cars alone for awhile in a secluded area to do activities such as hiking.

“There are enough people who leave doors unlocked that these bad guys can make a living,” he said.

In a best case scenario, Cannon advised people to not leave any valuables, such as cell phones or wallets, in the car at all. But if they have to, Cannon cautions people to lock those items in the trunks of their vehicles, or at the very least put them under the seats and out of sight.

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