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Thief steals $20,000 in designer jeans

Published February 28, 2008 10:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If someone approaches you in a parking lot and offers True Religion jeans for a killer price, you might be dealing with a thief.

Someone recently stole 50 to 60 pairs of designer jeans from So Cal Style, at 7634 S. Union Park Avenue, and police hope the public can help them catch the suspect.

The break-in took place some time between 10 p.m. Feb. 16, and the following Monday morning. The suspect removed a window, dismantled the alarm system and disabled the video surveillance system.

Sandy City Police Sgt. Victor Quezada said the suspect seemed to be familiar with the store and had most likely cased the property several times before striking. The store was equipped with breaking-glass sensors and motion sensors, both of which the suspect managed to avoid.

Police have video footage of the suspect coming in and disabling the video system, but Quezada said police have little to go on. The suspect appears to be a younger male with a slight build.

Quezada said it is unclear if he is a juvenile or adult. He was wearing a gray or black hooded sweatshirt and a scarf or mask covered the lower part of his face, making it impossible for police to determine his race.

Quezada said it is likely the suspect plans to resell the jeans, which have a retail value of about $20,000, and use the profits to buy drugs.

"Bad guys, they'll steal anything they can sell," Quezada said. "They'll take it and turn it into narcotics."

Store owner Jason Ayre said the majority of stolen merchandise were designer men's jeans in a variety of sizes. The brands stolen include Antik Denim, Diesel, True Religion and Chip & Pepper, which all generally retail for between $200 to $300 per pair. The styles taken are all fairly rare, and Ayre said they are unlikely to be found in any other local stores.

Ayre said that the loss of $20,000 in merchandise is a hard blow to his small business, but that he expects to recoup some of the loss through insurance. He is now turning his focus to catching the thief, offering a $1,500 reward. He has also started a Web site featuring the surveillance video from the heist, http://www.socal-style.com. The site also features descriptions of the stolen items, and Ayre plans to post pictures of the jeans soon.

"If I can at least get it to stop so it doesn't happen to someone else, that's my goal," Ayre said.

Quezada said the suspect might try to sell the jeans out of his car, at a swap meet or on eBay. If you see someone with a large quantity of jeans for sale who does not seem to be a reputable vendor, please call the Sandy City Police tip line at 801-568-4636.

The case is dead until police receive more information, Quezada said.

kdrake@sltrib.com

* To view video of the suspect, visit http://www.socal-style.com. If you have any information, please call the Sandy City Police tip line at 801-568-4636.