UV crime: Arson in Orem, heroin in Alpine

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Around 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning the Sun Canyon Villas construction project, which is just south of Midtown 360 between State Street and Orem Boulevard, was set on fire. (Photo by Matt Bennett)

Around 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning the Sun Canyon Villas construction project, which is just south of Midtown 360 between State Street and Orem Boulevard, was set on fire. (Photo by Matt Bennett)

Orem arson

Orem fire investigators have determined that a fire early Thursday morning at an apartment construction project was arson. The fire caused more than $1 million to Sun Canyon Villas, which is just south of Midtown 360 between State Street and Orem Boulevard.

Firefighters discovered the fire after putting out a blaze in a nearby off-duty Provo police car, which also has been ruled arson. Watch a video of the fire and learn more here.

Road rage

On Tuesday, road rage in Orem ended in one person being pepper-sprayed and the other being slapped —and both ending up with citations for disorderly conduct.

According to Orem police, one of the cars cut the other one off while driving on State Street. Then the second car cut the first one off. They kept this up for about 13 blocks, until they stopped at Center Street.

There, the driver in back bumped the car in front, so the man driving the front car got out and walked to the window of the other car, where he was pepper-sprayed. Then he slapped the woman spraying him.

Heroin bust

Lone Peak offices arrested several people on Tuesday on charges of possession of heroin, including a man who reportedly had taken his 5-year-old son with him to buy the drug.

Police had been watching a house occupied by a suspected drug dealer, and got a search warrant for the house. According to police, before serving the warrant, officers saw a car leave the house and stopped it.

After being stopped, the driver reportedly swallowed heroin to not get caught. Then officers discovered a vehicle outside occupied by a 5-year-old; they found the child’s father inside reportedly buying drugs (this was around 12:30 a.m.). Inside, officers found several kinds of drugs, scales, drug paraphernalia and cash. The father, Octavio Peraza, was arrested on charges of distribution of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. The home’s occupant, Dillon Ashy, was arrested on charges of minor in possession, possession of marijuana, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, distribution of a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. The two people from the car were arrested as well.

There was an attempted robbery at Walkers convenience store on west Center Street in Provo Sunday night. (Photo courtesy Provo police)

There was an attempted robbery at Walkers convenience store on west Center Street in Provo Sunday night. (Photo courtesy Provo police)

Provo robbery

On Sunday at 10:45 p.m., two men wearing ski masks walked into the Walkers convenience store on west Center Street in Provo, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money. They left after she told them the cash was locked in a safe and she couldn’t open it.

The man with the gun is described as 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall and Hispanic. He spoke with an accent and had a black tattoo on the right side of his neck. He was wearing dark pants, a black ski mask and a long-sleeved black shirt with a pattern across the front in yellow, gold and gray. The other man is 20 to 30 years old, about 6 feet 2 inches tall. He was wearing black pants, a black coat, gray ski mask and red knit gloves. They left in a silver or beige Chrysler 200 series sedan.

If you have information about the robbery, call Provo police at (801) 852-6210 or Detective Ringel at (801) 852-7307.

School vandalism

Police in Saratoga Springs arrested two boys on Saturday after they reportedly vandalized Sage Hills Elementary in January.

Police say the two broke into the school on Jan. 5 or 6, then on Jan. 25 or 26, and again on Jan. 26 or 27. They reportedly vandalized the school on the first incident. The second time, police say they took Kindle Fire tablets, among other things, again vandalized the school and did graffiti. The third time, they took items from the school, vandalized and left graffiti.  Damage is estimated at more than $4,000.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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