SPRINGVILLE — Police have arrested a man they say is connected to at least 12 theft cases in Utah County after a keen eye and some serendipitous timing helped identify the suspect.
Chief Craig Martinez said Tuesday that officers from Springville Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit had been watching construction sites after a couple of trailers were stolen in the city, and an officer noticed something didn’t look right on Sept. 15 when a truck pulled away from a school under construction near 400 West and 700 South.
“(He) actually ended up stopping the (driver) and saw some burglary tools in the truck,” Martinez said.
Though the officer didn’t have enough evidence at the time to detain the driver, a probable cause statement said the investigation eventually led police to one of the stolen trailers, which was parked outside some storage units.
While detectives were waiting at the scene for the owner of the stolen trailer to arrive, Martinez confirmed the same man that the officer had previously identified— 34-year-old Daniel Lorenzo Nebeker — had showed up and parked next to the trailer.
According to the jail documents, Nebeker was taken into custody and questioned after being read his Miranda rights.
“Nebeker originally lied regarding his involvement but later admitted he stole the trailer that was outside the storage units,” the documents stated. “He admitted to cutting the lock on the fence where the trailer was being stored and unlawfully entered the property to commit the theft.”
Nebeker was arrested Thursday on suspicion of theft, vehicle parts without identification number, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, possession or use of a controlled substance and DUI.
Police in Utah County say they’ve uncovered a significant amount of stolen property tied to at least 12 different theft cases. The serendipitous timing behind the arrest, @KSL5TV at 10p #KSLTV#Utahpic.twitter.com/v8Lkvovaxg
— Andrew Adams (@AndrewAdamsKSL) September 23, 2020
Jail records stated Nebeker’s preliminary urine sample tested positive for methamphetamines, amphetamines and opiates.
The man admitted to being addicted to heroin and meth and recently using, the documents said.
Martinez said through additional investigation, it appears now that Nebeker is connected to at least 12 theft cases in 6 jurisdictions stretching from Payson to Orem.
Officers have uncovered at least 3 storage units that contained stolen property, Martinez said.
“It was about a week’s worth of search warrants that they’ve served at different storage units throughout the county to find out that this guy has actually been burglarizing construction sites and stealing trailers,” Martinez said. “Yeah, this is a big one.”
Martinez said it is very possible there are other thefts out there that are connected to Nebeker and anyone in the area with unsolved cases involving stolen trailers, construction site thefts and shed burglaries should contact Springville Police.
While Martinez said his officer might chalk up being in the right place to identify Nebeker as luck, he believed it represented more than that.
“It’s kind of, you know, an intuitive eye for crime here in Springville and it actually worked out for everybody — except the suspect,” Martinez said.
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Springville police: man connected to at least 12 theft cases arrested /p>