July 13, 2008
Grand Teton National Park rangers responded to two separate incidents of theft on Friday, July 11. In each case, valuable personal items were stolen from unattended vehicles. Rangers are currently conducting investigations into both incidents.
The first theft occurred early Friday morning; however, it was not reported to Teton Interagency Dispatch Center until 2:30 p.m. An individual had parked her car and walked a short distance down a dirt road, leaving her vehicle temporarily unlocked. While she was away from her car, a laptop computer was stolen from the unlocked vehicle. A witness in the area at the time of the incident recalled seeing a male, who was acting suspiciously, driving either a red Chevy pickup or Suburban.
Later that same day, at about 5:30 p.m., park rangers took another report of a theft in a nearby location. This time, a wallet—visible on the center console—was stolen from a locked vehicle at a turnout along Highway 89, north of Moose, Wyoming. The perpetrator broke a window to get the wallet, which contained cash, credit cards and personal information. A separate witness recalled seeing a red Chevy Suburban in the area at that time, possibly the same vehicle described at the earlier crime scene.
After the owner of the wallet called to report that his credit cards were stolen, park rangers subsequently learned that his card had been used at an establishment outside of the park. Rangers worked cooperatively with the Teton County Sheriff’s Office to interview clerks working at the establishment, and it was determined that the card had been used to withdraw funds from an ATM machine.
Teton County sheriffs also responded to multiple similar incidents on Friday. Investigating officials believe that these incidents may be related.
While crimes of this type are rare in Grand Teton National Park, park visitors and area residents are reminded to avoid becoming a victim by locking vehicle doors and securing valuables at all times. People should never leave valuable items—such as purses, wallets, cameras or computers—in plain sight inside unattended vehicles. People should either carry these items with them or lock them in the trunk of the vehicle, out of sight.
Visitors and residents should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to park rangers at any visitor center or ranger station.