Police say thieves are taking advantage of Payson’s small town mentality and breaking into unsecured cars and stealing whatever they can find.
From April through June, there were 32 vehicle burglaries in Payson.
“The vast, vast majority of those are unsecured vehicles,” said Police Chief Don Engler. “It is an opportunistic crime.”
Engler said thieves are trying door handles until they find a vehicle that is unlocked. Once inside, thieves take anything that is loose and accessible, leaving behind car stereos and other valuables.
“So far, they have all been minor thefts,” he said.
The most common items taken include wallets, CDs, change and clothing.
None of the reported thefts have involved forced entry. The majority of thefts take place west of Highway 87 at residential and commercial properties at night. Owners discover the thefts most often in the morning when leaving for work.
“We have some persons of interest,” Engler said, although investigations do not have enough evidence to make an arrest.
Engler said it is crucial residents lock their vehicles.
“Although we have a very good crime rate in Payson,” he said, “it is time to start locking your vehicles.”
“If people see someone trying vehicle door handles, get a good description and call,” Engler said.
Contact the PPD at (928) 474-5177.