Chump Change Southwest Payson Burglar Baffles Police


A strangely unambitious burglar is hitting cars and homes in southwest Payson. Leaving behind TVs and larger valuables, the thief is making off with change and food.

Payson Police Det. Matt Van Camp said in the last two months they have seen a steady stream of vehicle and home break-ins in an area bordered by Green Valley Park, Colcord Road, Overland and Main Street.

“We are seeing unlocked cars and homes unoccupied for the summer” targeted, Van Camp said.

“We are not seeing a lot of property taken.”

In most of the break-ins, the thief or thieves grab what they can carry, including cash, cameras or guns and leave behind heavier, more valuable items.

“There is a lot of stuff at these houses that was not touched,” he said.

Most of the vehicles targeted were unlocked. Van Camp believes the thief trolls the neighborhoods, trying door handles until he finds a vehicle open.

He or she then grabs change from the ashtray and whatever else they can carry, ignoring stereos.

In one incident, homeowners returning from a weekend trip, pulled into their driveway, parked and by the time they had entered their home, their front door was open and the thief had narrowly escaped.

“If our analysis is correct, it indicates the person is on foot and possibly homeless,” Van Camp said. “If anyone sees any suspicious people, they should definitely call police. If it looks weird, then it probably is.”

At five locations, police collected physical evidence, including blood and fingerprints.

Currently, police have no suspects.

Report suspicious activity by calling the PPD at (928) 474-5177.


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