The Fear Factory in west-central Salt Lake City boasts of real paranormal activity, but owner Rob Dunfield says two break-ins in as many weeks are all too human in origin.
On consecutive weekends, the haunted house business, in the old Portland Cement factory at 666 W. 800 South, has been burglarized. In both cases, security cameras caught images of two suspects their faces covered by dark hooded sweatshirts stealing items and vandalizing property.
The most recent incident, about 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Sunday, ended with the burglars driving the business' vintage hearse into a concrete wall bordering Interstate 15. The collision caused heavy damage to the vehicle's front fenders, bumpers, grill and headlights.
"We're not sure if they just lost control or crashed on purpose, but they crashed it pretty good," Dunfield said Thursday.
The pair also stole some props and equipment, including an air compressor, from the outside yards. However, when they tried to force entry to one of the buildings, an alarm was triggered and they ran off.
In the first break-in early Nov. 9, the burglars cut a hole through a chain-link fence, broke the lock on a trailer and stole oriental rugs. The burglars apparently climbed over the fence during the most recent intrusion.
Dunfield said video footage from the security cameras has been turned over to police.
Meantime, The Fear Factory is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salt Lake City Police Department at 801-799-3000.