PARK CITY, Utah. — Crime is on the rise in Park City, and Lt. Andrew Wright of the Summit County Sheriff’s Dept. says that the increase in population and number of visitors to the area correlates with an increase in calls for service from law enforcement.
Over the past two years, car thefts have risen in Summit County by 158.8%, reports of items being stolen from cars have increased by 42%, and overall theft (meaning any theft occurring outside of the home or car) saw a 7.4% increase.
“Any increase is not good,” Wright said. “This is just a good reminder that as we grow [in population] and as criminals get more creative in terms of criminal activity, that we have to be more aware of our surroundings and take measures to protect ourselves.”
Around 1 p.m. on Jan. 25 inside Whole Foods Market, a woman’s wallet was stolen from her purse by a female suspect while the victim was distracted by a second female suspect who asked the victim a question. Wright said deputies responded to the incident and the suspects were identified as two young women with brown hair who looked to be in their early twenties to thirties. No further information is known at this point.
“Criminals are getting very, very brave and somewhat smarter, if you will,” he said. “They’re learning to distract people and try to make them feel like they are there to just talk to them like in this case.”
Wright referred to crime as a ’24-hour operation’ but said Summit County residents should not be paranoid.
“We live in a safe community, but it doesn’t mean we are exempt from a crime,” Wright said. “Our message to people is to be aware, vigilant, and protect yourself from being a victim of crime.”
Basic theft and crime prevention tactics from the Summit County Sheriff’s Dept:
- Be aware
- Watch your items and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight
- Lock doors to vehicles and homes