It’s a baffling statistic that has many in Provo’s law enforcement community scratching their heads. A normally quiet college town and home to Brigham Young University, Provo is hardly known as a crime infested area. According to the FBI, property crime jumped 32 percent during the early months of 2016 compared to the same period a year earlier. It was the largest of increase of any of the 264 U.S. cities listed on the FBI’s 2016 Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report. Even more confusing, the city’s statistics on violent crime remained unchained. The FBI’s report was strictly on cities with a population of at least 100,000.
The Rising Problem of Theft Crimes in Provo
A closer look into the Provo’s growing property crime problems reveals a 30 percent increase in larceny and a 35 percent spike in motor vehicle thefts. But the biggest rise is a 56 percent jump in home burglaries. The FBI defines larceny as any items stolen from cars or yards. Burglaries are considered any theft in which the thief breaks into a building or structure with the intent to commit a crime. Meanwhile, Salt Lake City saw no increase in any types of of theft crimes.
The Provo Police Department has yet to determine the reason for the huge increases of property crime. However, some believe there may be a link between drug addiction and breaking into home to support a drug habit. In an attempt to explain the rise of home break-ins, Sergeant Brian Taylor of the Provo Police Department told the Deseret News he believes the rise in the city’s homeless population may be a factor. Mayor John Curtis also agrees and believes another contributing factor is the connection between the homeless and the growth of opioid and meth addiction.
Why The Rise of Theft Crimes in Provo
While Provo may seem like an unlikely place for criminal activity, it has several different elements that make it a perfect storm for theft crimes. Because it is a college town, thieves often see college students as an easy target. BYU is the largest private university in the state, with an enrollment of 30,0000. Many of them come from outside of Utah. A thief would have little trouble finding laptop or notebook computer in somebody’s car. Depending on the type of theft, a person accused of property crime charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Among the most common types of property crime include:
- Automobile theft
- Criminal trespassing
- Unlawful entry
Have You Been Accused of a Theft Crime in Salt Lake City?
Theft crimes are not just a problem in Provo. They are rampant throughout Utah. However, not everybody accused of a theft crime is guilty. Many suspects find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just one arrest can bring severe consequences. It can result in the loss of a job to even spending significant time behind bars. It is important to seek representation from an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to fight these charges. The Salt Lake City theft crimes attorney at White & Matern, PLLC are ready to help. Their team of legal professionals are committed to protecting the rights of each client and to place them in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact their Salt Lake City criminal law office today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.