We tend to think of Park City as an idyllic community from the 1950’s. To many, it’s Pleasantville. Then your house gets robbed, or your car window is broken, or your car tires are slashed. Then, it’s not so picturesque anymore. It’s just another suburb.
That’s just about where we are with Jeremy Ranch.
For weeks (maybe months) social media has been reporting a high number of cars and garages being robbed. Recently the robberies turned to vandalism as car tires were also slashed. Naturally, the community is up in arms. “Should we install gates? Can’t the ‘police’ patrol more? Should we have cameras? ” comes the cry from residents. It’s natural.
Do gates work to deter crime? Yes, but only marginally. Of course if you have a gated community, you have to pay for all road maintenance (and often garbage collection). It may be cheaper to be robbed every couple of years than that.
Would cameras help? No. If you don’t believe that, take your iPhone down to Sackett Drive, turn it at a 45 degree angle, and press record on the video. After 10 cars drive by, you can stop. Can you read any of the license tags? Most people probably can’t, but let’s say you can read 5 out of 10. Now, how are you going to prove that the person in that car was the person that stole your skis from your garage? Unless you get a picture of the person (using your own camera) inside your home holding your skis, and a picture of the same person in the car and also the license tag, you won’t have a case. That is really unlikely. Besides, anything of value will be sold within a few hours.
How do I come to that conclusion? Our family’s home was robbed in Jeremy Ranch a couple of years ago. The thieves left a clipboard with fingerprints all over it. In the end, those fingerprints matched a crime ring in Salt Lake that had committed hundreds of robberies (and were eventually jailed). However, our robbery wasn’t included because there was no evidence that showed the thieves were in our home and holding the clipboard. When the Sheriff’s Department interviewed the father of the “alleged” thieves (whose prints were also on the clipboard) he said he had lost the clipboard and that he didn’t know how it would have gotten into our house.
No absolute proof = no way to bring charges
It likely wouldn’t have mattered anyhow. The Summit County Sheriff’s investigator told us that most items were sold for meth within a couple of hours of being stolen.
Please don’t take these remarks as disparaging against our law enforcement. Today on social media the Summit County Sheriff”s office responded to Jeremy Ranch residents saying “We are taking any and every report seriously… Our promise to you was that we will send deputies to your residence and neighborhood as quickly as possible.” We believe they are. If you have a serious emergency, and you are in the Snyderville Basin, you should know that the Summit County Sheriff’s office will arrive within minutes. We imagine that Park City is the same. You look no further than the potential school shooter last year where the Police department was preparing at 3AM for almost every contingency. Both the Summit Sheriff’s Office and Park City Police know what they are doing. They are good and they are competent.
Yet, burglary seems harder. Nationwide only 12.7 percent of burglaries are solved. That’s the reality.
So, its more about prevention and deterrence than actually “stopping” robberies. For instance, the thief that attacked our family tried a crowbar on 5 back windows and doors before one of the latches broke and allowed them entrance. Now, we have bars in all the slides of all sliding doors and windows. We also have a few cameras outside that detect motion. The thief would now have to both break the latch and find a way to remove the bar to gain entrance. In addition, we now have a relatively inexpensive security system. The thief will likely also see the contact alarms in every door/window from the outside. That will tell him that he not only needs to break the latch and remove the bar but will have limited time in the house (once they break the latch and figure out how to remove the bar). Finally, we have motion detecting cameras that indicate when someone is near the outside of our house. So, the thief should be even less confident in his ability to rob the house. The hope is that the “rationale” thief (if there is one) will bypass our house.
Yet, robbery isn’t the only thing to be concerned with in Jeremy Ranch. You also have to contend with drug sales. Last summer our neighbor saw what was likely a number of drug sales going on near vacant lot in Jeremy Ranch. I contacted the Sheriff’s department and again they exceeded my expectations in what they did (I won’t go into the details); however, I don’t believe they were able to stop it.
It’s happening again this year. The difference is that a number of neighbors seem to know what house the sales are coming from. So, if you live on Cheyenne and you or your kids are dealing… STOP SELLING IN JEREMY RANCH. With the robberies, vandalism, and now drugs… we are about done.
We look at this as a three prong issue:
First, you have to protect yourself. Don’t leave your car or house vulnerable. We already live in a vulnerable area (along a major interstate) — don’t make yourself more vulnerable.
Second, we’d love some innovative ideas from the Sheriff’s office. Justin Martinez and his fellow deputies are smart. We’d love to wake up to an article in the Park Record about how they squashed this issue.
Third, we look to the real estate professionals to be a part of this solution. If you want to sell homes for less than a million dollars, then you need Jeremy Ranch. People don’t want to buy a $800,000 house in a crime ghetto. Articles like this one don’t help in the short-run, but we DO hope they will help in the long run. We need your assistance and help in mitigating this problem.
Can we guarantee you will never be robbed? No. However, you can take steps to reduce the chance of incident. We also hope our partners can step up and find ways to help squash this plague.