Provo police bust two men suspected of multiple burglaries

Crime • Duo may have stolen property worth $30,000.
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Provo police say they've busted two alleged jewel thieves after a suspected six-month-long crime spree.

Police arrested a 26-year-old man and a 22-year-old man this week in connection with the burglaries of nine homes in southwestern Provo. Police suspect the two stole about $30,000 worth of property in all, including $600 worth of loose change found in the older suspect's home, said Lt. Mathew Siufanua.

On Feb. 15, an officer and his police dog responded to a burglary in progress near 700 S. 1600 West. The dog followed the suspect's footprints to the 26-year-old's back door.

The officer began investigating the home's occupant and tracked down jewelry that he allegedly pawned. In reviewing security footage from the sales, the officer also identified the 22-year-old man who police suspect committed burglaries with him.

The older man was booked into Utah County Jail on suspicion of 10 counts of possession of stolen property and 10 counts of theft by deception, which were enhanced to felonies due to prior convictions. The younger man was booked on suspicion of five counts of possession of stolen property and five counts of theft by deception.

Neither has been formally charged. The police are still investigating their alleged crimes, which may have included other victims and extended beyond Provo, Siufanua said.

Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been burglarized by the duo to call their department at 801-852-6210.

Siufanua said Police Chief Rick Gregory and Mayor John Curtis are looking into ways to make it harder for thieves to pawn stolen property.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda