Crackdown on stolen cars results in 6 arrests

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Several law enforcement agencies teamed up overnight in an effort to recover stolen vehicles in the Salt Lake valley. When it was all said and done, 10 vehicles had been recovered and 6 people were arrested.

Over the last several months there has been a spike in the number of stolen vehicles reported in the Salt Lake valley. So last night, law enforcement wanted to send a clear message that this type of criminal behavior will not be tolerated.

Lt. Bill Robertson, with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, said, "We're all the way from the east side, through the central part of the valley, to Magna."

Hondas, Saturns, and Jeep Cherokee's were among the stolen vehicles now recovered. 7 law enforcement agencies teamed up Thursday night to crack down on this growing criminal trend, a trend that police say is about more than making money these days.

"Stolen vehicles are taken for number of reasons. They are for transporting criminals around. A lot of times though they use them for robberies, drive-by shootings, things of that nature," Robertson said.

He says when you deal with stolen vehicles, it often leads to narcotics, weapons and suspects who have warrants. Thursday's bust was no different. By 2:00 a.m., law enforcement had arrested 6 people driving stolen vehicles and assisted the Salt Lake City Police Department with a 7th arrest. That man ended up being a person of interest in a recent drive-by shooting.

"It's a coordinated effort. It's the way policing should be done. It's a great way to attack the criminal element and make an impact on the stolen vehicle problem here in the valley," Robertson said.

Police say a lot of the younger criminals are targeting Hondas right now. Robertson says one of the reasons is for personal gain. He says criminals will strip valuable parts from the car and then put them on their own vehicles.

The vehicle thefts are happening all over the valley, so attacking the problem has become a moving effort.

The Salt Lake County Sheriff's office says last night's blitz was a success, and they plan on doing another one soon.


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