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November 1, 2012 — Theft prevention is the subject of the latest Chief’s Video Message released by the Salt Lake City Police Department today.

In the four-minute video, Chief Chris Burbank talked about larceny — the theft of personal property — with Detective Robert Ungricht. This type of crime keeps the Larceny Unit busy, with the squad’s seven detectives receiving an average of 75 new cases each month.

“The key to preventing it [theft] is target hardening,” says Ungricht. He advised businesses and individuals alike to take a more active role in frustrating the plans of would-be thieves.

For example:

  • Club goers, shoppers and others headed to large group events should place valuables out of sight or in a car trunk before arriving at their destination. Thieves look for people arriving at shopping centers, clubs and arenas to see who rearranges valuables or places them in the trunk as they park — which makes a thief’s “work” even easier.
  • Businesses should consider security measures that preserve customer convenience while reducing the risk of theft. For instance, move liquor, cigarettes and other “grab-and-dash” items away from entrances.

“A little prior preparation goes a long way,” said Burbank, while acknowledging the need to balance prevention and fear. “We have to live in society, and at the point that we’re so paranoid about crime occurring that we don’t live, we don’t function, well then the criminals win in that particular case.”

Chief Burbank and Detective Ungricht also emphasized the need for the public to contact law enforcement when they see suspicious behavior. “The more information we have to go on as investigators, the higher probability of us solving that case,” Ungricht said, citing the value of detailed vehicle and suspect information.

To view the Chief’s Message on Theft, please visit:

Contact: Reporters seeking comment should contact the Public Information Officer at 801.799.NEWS (6397).