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EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Police say a man who was being hired to install garage doors was getting his supplies by stealing garage doors from homes under construction.
The arrest of Justin Thomas Strasburg, 35, who is listed as homeless in police documents, on Tuesday, cleared up eight recent cases, according to a police affidavit.
But detectives say Strasburg is also a suspect in cases in at least two other cities where garage doors have been stolen.
Herriman police arrested Strasburg on May 7. Officers were called to suspicious activity in a new construction area and found Strasburg driving a Penske truck with invalid license plates, a police affidavit states.
Strasburg told police “that he worked for a construction company that installs garage doors and components,” but later “admitted to officers that he no longer works for the company,” the affidavit states.
Investigators contacted Strasburg’s prior employer and learned he allegedly “is responsible for approximately $20,000 in losses due to theft,” according to the affidavit.
At the time of his arrest, Strasburg was “in possession of approximately $1,500 in stolen garage door components” and “admitted to being involved a large quantity of thefts across Salt Lake and Utah counties. (He) admitted that he had stolen a garage door from Pleasant Grove and a garage door opener from South Jordan,” the affidavit states.
He was also in possession of drug paraphernalia, according to police.
After he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and later released, a Utah County sheriff’s detective posed as a garage door buyer and set up an appointment with Strasburg. On Tuesday, he arranged to meet with him in Eagle Mountain.
When Strasburg arrived in the area driving a U-Haul truck, the detective pulled him over.
“I advised Justin I wanted to talk to him about what had occurred in Herriman,” the deputy wrote in the affidavit. “In fear Justin was going to flee, I opened the driver door of the vehicle and asked him to step out to talk to me. At this point, Justin started the vehicle and put it into gear and sped away from me.”
In speaking with Justin, he admitted to being the suspect in eight separate incidents where garage doors, garage door openers, motors and other items for garage doors were taken in Eagle Mountain and Vineyard.
The deputy pointed his gun at Strasburg as he put the vehicle into gear and ordered him to stop, but he continued driving, according to the affidavit. The deputy did not fire.
A chase ensued into Saratoga Springs where Strasburg got out of the truck and allegedly ran but was arrested a short time later by pursuing officers.
“In speaking with Justin, he admitted to being the suspect in eight separate incidents where garage doors, garage door openers, motors and other items for garage doors were taken in Eagle Mountain and Vineyard. Justin also admitted to stealing the garage door he was planning on installing today from West Valley,” the affidavit states.
Wednesday afternoon, Strasburg had two more counts of burglary added to his jail booking sheet after American Fork police connected him to two incidents there, according to a police affidavit. Police say Strasburg stole garage doors on April 30 and May 5 from homes under construction by the same company.
“When I spoke with the complainant, he stated whoever took the doors knew what they were doing. When I asked him to explain, he stated to me that garage doors could really hurt someone if they do not know how to take them down correctly.”