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Summit County Sheriff's Department Issues Emergency Alert Last Weekend

Summit County Sheriff's Office

An emergency alert from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office on Friday night put residents of Bear Hollow Village on high alert.

Lt. Andrew Wright, with the Summit County Sheriff’s department says that they received a report on Friday evening that three men were attempting to use fraudulent credit cards at several stores at the Tanger Outlet mall. An employee at the mall contacted the department and gave a description of the car the men were driving. A Summit County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to contact the men via a traffic stop but they sped off into the Bear Hollow neighborhood. Because of the amount of traffic, the deputy did not speed after the men but did make his way up into the neighborhood. He found the vehicle unoccupied, which the department took into evidence.

“The deputy requested more assistance which we had from Park City police, Utah Highway Patrol and K9 assistance from West Jordan police to assist in tracking.” Lt. Wright said, “We searched for a little over two hours for these individuals and was not successful at that time. So, started to release resources. There was a couple of deputies that came across an individual that was sitting on a porch and was able to identify him as one of the three involved. He was booked into jail, we were only able to book him in for burglary because he had entered a residence and grabbed a blanket to keep warm. At this time, we still have investigators working on the case trying to locate the other individuals, but we believe they have fled the state. So, we’re continuing to work through and investigate and locate these other responsible people.”

Summit County Sheriff’s Department decided to employ the emergency alert system. Lt. Wright said they did not view the men as potentially violent. Lt. Wright said that since their attempted crime was a felony and the suspects fled into a residential area and the vehicle was found empty they decided to send out the alert.

“We felt that it was prudent for us to notify nearby residents’ number one of the increased police presence.” Lt. Wright explained, “Because we had a dozen or more officers out in the neighborhood searching. First of all, just alert them there’s a police presence and this is why. And also, to just get the communities cooperation. If they were to see or hear anything. If someone were to knock on their door, number one don’t answer the door and number two dial 9-1-1 and let us know. So that we can go and make contact with these individuals. It gives us that opportunity and that tool to notify the residents in the direct area to say, ‘hey this is why we’re here and here’s what we would like you to do.’ It’s not a tool that we utilize on a regular basis. We understand the fear and the concern that it can create. But we use it as a tool of notification and of community cooperation when we deal with incidents like this.”

KPCW reporter David Boyle covers all things in the Heber Valley as well as sports and breaking news.
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