Victims, police warn of vehicle burglaries

Dec 17, 2021, 6:58 PM | Updated: 8:30 pm

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Police are warning drivers to lock their cars and hide their belongings after recent vehicle burglaries in broad daylight in American Fork — a reminder that they often see an uptick around the holidays.

On Monday, police say burglars broke into two cars in front of the VASA in the middle of the day and stole some wallets. The cars were locked, so they busted open the windows.

The next day, someone did the same thing to two other cars. Those instances happened before lunch in the parking lot near Dollar Tree, which is right next to the VASA.

Kaylee Moore and Sienna Gehring park in that same lot nearly every day to attend classes at beauty school. They have been doing it for months.

“My friend ran in and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, did you drive your sister’s car?’” Moore said. “It was like the one day I drove her car.”

She followed her friend outside to find her window smashed in and her backpack gone. She said she had six months of class notes in the bag, plus her lunch and a pair of leggings. Fortunately, she had her wallet with her.

“I think that’s what they were thinking was in there, but they get leggings,” she said. “Probably wasn’t a wise choice to put my backpack in the front seat.”

Two spots away, Gehring’s passenger window was also shattered. She says she didn’t leave anything out in the open, but the burglar got away with “Amazon jewelry” that she said was worth about $30.

“I was definitely startled. The police officer had to grab me from the middle of the road because I just didn’t know what was going on. And it was just kind of scary,” Gehring said.

Lt. Josh Christensen said, “That’s the sad part is these happen very fast. I mean, it’s a matter of seconds to break the window, grab it, get back in their car and leave.”

Surveillance video from a nearby Little Caesar’s drive-thru shows a driver pull into an empty spot between the two cars, get out and swing something to smash the windows and leave seconds later.

The suspect vehicle was a white SUV, with damage to the front bumper, and missing a piece of the car near the driver side door.

“It makes me nervous,” Moore said. “I made my parents drive me the last three days.”

“I was, at first, pretty angry. You know, it’s not fun to fix a window $300 out of pocket,” said Gehring’s husband Josh. “We just don’t want it to happen to anybody else.”

Apart from the four vehicle burglaries in the parking lot during the day on Monday and Tuesday, American Fork police said they had four other vehicle burglaries outside of the Cinemark theater.

Those burglaries happened after dark around eight, but still earlier than they typically see vehicle burglaries.

“Our hope is to try and get a message out to everybody to keep their valuables out of sight,” Christensen said. “To keep your vehicles locked.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A reunification drill in Magna let parents and students practice how to fine each other in a school...
Jed Boal

Granite School District practices reunifying parents, students in school emergency

It’s a sight we see too often, parents racing to a school to find out whether their child has been hurt in a shooting or some other emergency.
18 hours ago
Lori Vallow Daybell (Madison County)...
Cary Schwanitz

Lori Vallow Daybell trial suspended due to new concerns about her competency

An Idaho judge has ordered another delay in the murder trial for Lori Vallow after defense attorneys raised concerns about her competency.
18 hours ago
Customers shop at the Trader Joe's Upper East Side Bridgemarket grocery store in New York, U.S., on...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business

Trader Joe’s finally brings back free samples

Freebies are back at the grocery store after a long pandemic hiatus.
18 hours ago
(Deanna McNary)...
Eliza Pace

A couple saves woman from burning car

A couple is grateful they took the long way home after they were able to save a woman from a burning car.
18 hours ago
The black male suspect who allegedly robbed an American Fork Credit Union on Aug. 30. (Federal Bure...
Michael Houck

Suspected serial Utah bank robber, wanted by FBI

Federal authorities are looking for a man who allegedly robbed two Utah banks within 30 days of each other. 
18 hours ago
University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe was shot and killed at a party in Salt Lake City. (KS...
Matt Rascon

KSL+ The growing impact of digital evidence

One year after the shooting death of University of Utah football player Aaron Lowe, prosecutors say the amount of digital evidence they have to go through is dragging out the case against his accused killer.
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Victims, police warn of vehicle burglaries