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UV crime: Bank robbery, Grinch season, traffic strip

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Daniel Sparks, 25, was arrested this week for allegedly robbing UCCU. (Photo courtesy Provo Police Department)

Daniel Sparks, 25, was arrested this week for allegedly robbing UCCU in Provo. (Photo courtesy Provo Police Department)

UCCU robbery

A little after 9 a.m. Wednesday, Daniel Sparks reportedly walked into the UCCU at 1501 S. 40 East in Provo, handed a teller a note that said, “This is a robbery,” and demanded cash.

Police say he got his money and walked out the main doors. Officers got surveillance footage from the credit union — the robbery suspect’s disguise was a pair of sunglasses — and posted them online. While they were working on leads, they got tips from those social media photos that confirmed that 25-year-old Sparks was the man they were looking for.

Police arrested Sparks on Wednesday night on charges of robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

Utah Valley Grinches

Online Christmas deals are heating up and the package delivery season is in full swing. But so is the theft-from-your-doorstep season. Police from around Utah Valley are getting reports of packages being stolen from doorsteps.

Officers say one of the best ways to protect yourself from package thieves is to have your boxes delivered to where you work, so they’re not sitting on your doorstep for hours. Or have them shipped to someone you know will be home when they arrive. You also can ask the post office to hold boxes at the post office, where you can pick them up instead of having them delivered. Another option, if you’re buying from a company with a local store, is to choose in-store pickup instead of delivery.

Sweepstakes scam

A Highland woman thought she’d won $75,000 from Publishers Clearing House, but it turned out it was a scam, police say. The woman reported to police on Monday that she’d gotten a letter in the mail that said she’d won and a check for several thousand dollars. She called a phone number on the letter and was instructed to deposit the check and send money to cover expenses associated with her win. After most of the money had been sent, she discovered that the check had bounced and not only was she out that money, but there was no $75,000.

Theft arrest

Police arrested a homeless man on Saturday after getting reports that he’d stolen a bike and TV from an elderly man in Pleasant Grove. For several years, the man reportedly had been letting Gary Kinsey stay at his home when he didn’t have anywhere else to go.

When police tracked Kinsey down, he was at his mother’s house in Provo, hiding in the bathroom with a knife and a straw that reportedly contained meth. His mother had a protective order against him.

Officers booked Kinsey into the Utah County Jail on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, theft, violation of a protective order, aggravated abuse of a disabled or elderly person and three warrants.

Traffic strip

Police arrested an Orem man on Nov. 14 after he’d crashed his car into a retaining wall and then started stripping off his clothes in the intersection and walking through traffic.

When officers arrived at the accident, 20-year-old Luis Nino-Gonzalez already had taken off his shirt and was working on removing his pants. When police couldn’t get the man to stop and get out of traffic, one of the officers used a Taser on him. Even after the jolt, Gonzalez reportedly continued to resist arrest.

He was booked into jail on charges of possession or use of a controlled substance, DUI, resisting arrest, assault by prisoner, reckless driving and distributing a controlled substance.

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