A serial car burglary and identity theft suspect is finally off the streets thanks to the Cottonwood Heights Police Department.
Police say they found bags of property stolen from more than 40 car break-ins over the past few weeks throughout the Salt Lake Valley when they arrested the 25-year-old man. He was booked into Salt Lake County Jail early Monday morning on multiple felony counts.
Investigators allege the man had "shaved" or filed down keys for various makes of vehicles and used them to pick door locks. He then helped himself to whatever he found — including automobile registration forms, driver licenses, mail and other documents containing personal information.
He allegedly stole a Subaru from the Pinnacle Highland Apartments, near 7600 S. Highland Drive, on Sunday afternoon. Then that evening, his luck ran out after a suspicious citizen spotted him allegedly trolling parked vehicles near the Santa Fe Apartments, near 1500 Fort Union Boulevard, and called 911.
Police arrived before the suspect could flee, and a subsequent search of his stolen car turned up the stolen documents, computers and other items — including methamphetamine and heroin, according to a probable-cause statement.
The suspect remained behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of two third-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony count for auto theft, third-degree felony identity fraud and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession.
Third District Court records show this is not the first time the suspect has been in trouble with the law. In 2011, he was charged with 13 felony counts, ranging from identity theft, drug possession and theft to possession of burglary tools. He pleaded guilty to the theft, and drug counts are part of a plea bargain that gave him drug treatment and probation.
The probation was terminated on Sept. 17 for alleged violations.
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