SALT LAKE CITY — Police are urging homeowners to keep their eyes peeled for suspicious activity in neighborhoods during the day after reporting a surge in daytime burglaries in the central neighborhoods of Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City Police recommended residents across Utah get to know their neighbors and keep an eye on their property, be aware of people going door-to-door and, especially, be on the lookout for anyone going into a backyard.
SLC PD Sergeant Keith Horrocks also said to keep your doors and windows locked, even when you’re at home.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re living in Salt Lake, or any other neighborhood, I think it’s always good advice to follow,” he said. “Really, what we’re trying to do is just kind of raise awareness for folks that this is happening during the daytime when folks are at work.”
SLC PD officers said they track crime data in real-time so they can act on trends quickly.
In the last few weeks, police noticed a 30% spike in burglaries in District 5 over the five-year average. That’s in a swath of the city between 500 South and 1700 South, from State Street up to the east side, including the neighborhoods around Ninth and Ninth and Liberty Park.
“Through the years, it’s kind of migrated this way,” said Thomas Barman, referring to the crime that his crept into his Liberty Park neighborhood. He has lived on this street his whole life. “I know all the neighbors.”
He said he has seen more crime in recent years. But, he has noticed more car break-ins, rather than daytime burglaries.
“I’ve come out the front door and chased them off,“ he said, typically in the middle of the night.
But, he said he’s always watchful.
“We try to let each other know what’s going on around here,” he said. “But, I don’t know how much good it does. It’s a crime of opportunity.”
Police said that neighborly contact does make a difference.
“Any of that networking between neighbors is great,” Horrocks said.
So are community Facebook pages and apps, like NextDoor, that are focused on sharing suspicious behavior.
SLC PD has increased patrols in order to cut down on the crimes and hopefully catch the criminals. We went out with Sergeant Dave Hendricks as he was patrolling this afternoon.
Hendricks said the criminals are knocking on doors. If they don’t get an answer, they’ll go around to the back and break in.
“Most of the stuff we’re seeing is quick cash to buy drugs or trading property for drugs,” he said. “I’m looking out for the unusual things: the guys in the alley, the guys prowling around the houses that don’t belong.”