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South Salt Lake police bust suspected Honda theft ring

Published August 14, 2013 3:21 pm

Crime • Arrests come a day after Salt Lake City police report own spike in Honda thefts.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A South Salt Lake police officer thought it was suspicious that there were five Hondas with temporary tags parked outside a motel.

The officer saw the cars outside the Days Inn Motel at 315 W. 3300 South late Tuesday night. Turns out they were all listed as stolen — one from South Salt Lake, one from West Valley City and three from Salt Lake City, said police spokesman Gary Keller.

Police waited for a suspect to return. Eventually two men got into one of the stolen Hondas and started talking, so officers moved in and took them both into custody, according to a news release. The police then detained six more people inside one of the motel rooms that was connected to the vehicles, the release adds.

Of the eight people detained, the officers ultimately arrested three men and a woman and booked them into Salt Lake County jail. As of Wednesday afternoon, no one has been charged.

They also took a 17-year-old girl who was in the room to the Juvenile Receiving Center, since they had nowhere else to send her, Keller said.

"Seems like she's out on her own," Keller said. "Right now there are no charges pending against her."

The arrests come just a day after the Salt Lake City police warned people that thieves have been targeting older Hondas, having figured out a way to get into even the locked ones. The Salt Lake City officers have made several arrests connected to those thefts in the past two weeks, said Sgt. Stefhan Bennett, head of the auto theft unit.

South Salt Lake police believe that the five Hondas were stolen in a similar fashion to those in Salt Lake City, Keller said, though he was not sure if they are older models.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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