FRUIT HEIGHTS -- The city of Fruit Heights has been hit by a recent spike in car and home burglaries.
All the burglaries appear to have one thing in common -- stolen prescription medications.
According to the police, in the past several months, the city has seen an increase in the number of burglaries in which the homeowners' opiate prescription pain killers, like Oxycodone, have gone missing.
Criminals are coming from other cities to burglarize Fruit Heights, said Sgt. Jennifer Daley of the Davis County Sheriff's Office.
"In this economy, people are really hurting," said Daley. "These are pretty powerful medications, and people will go to the ends of the earth to get it, since it is similar to heroin."
One of the biggest problems, authorities said, is residents still believe they live in a bedroom community, and they don't lock their car doors and houses.
As a result, many of the recent burglaries have occurred with little effort put forth by the burglars, who simply open an unlocked car or house door and help themselves to the owner's medications.
"These are crimes of opportunity, where the criminals don't even have to break a car window and can get items taken in just seconds," said Daley.
Another misconception for residents is how well they think they know their neighbors, authorities said.
For instance, Daley said, an unsuspecting family may have a drug-addicted family member stealing from either the family or their neighbors.
Residents can help deter criminal activity at their house by locking their doors and leaving their porch lights on all night rather than turning them off at bedtime, Daley said.
"You think you are saving electricity, but that is when the criminals come out," said Daley.
Adding to the problem is how difficult it is for authorities to track criminals. Utah's dry climate, where the oils from fingers dry quickly, makes it hard to get fingerprints, Daley said.
Daley recommended putting prescription medications in a safe place within the home as drug-seeking criminals tend to know exactly where to look. Residents tend to keep their medications in the bathroom, she said.
Also, Daley said, criminals will look for items they can give to their drug dealer, such as phones and iPods.
The Davis County Sheriff's Office has a possible suspect in at least one of the burglaries and officials are currently following all leads.
Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at 801-451-4100.