OREM — Orem police this weekend were busy investigating multiple break-ins and burglaries in which cash, cameras and jewels were taken.
By Monday, three arrests had been made in connection with the incidents, according to Orem Police Lt. Doug Edwards.
At one attempted burglary, Daniel Thompson, the owner of Clean Flicks, surprised an intruder and scuffled with him before police were called.
Thompson said he returned to his movie store at 908 S. State late Saturday to drop off a few things and found himself staring at a man holding his cash register.
"It scared me actually," Thompson said on Monday.
The man dropped the register and rushed for the door, Thompson said. As the man tried to push past him, Thompson grabbed his sweatshirt and started swinging.
The two struggled, each throwing punches as the man tried to flee.
Eventually the man broke away, but not before Thompson had "slobber knocked" the drunken suspect, said Orem Police Lt. Doug Edwards.
"Who breaks into Clean Flicks?" Thompson asked. With only $50 in the cash register, breaking into the store took more work than it was worth, Thompson said.
The man apparently broke through a small window — about a foot wide and less than 3 feet high — in the back. He then pushed over a heavy video rack leaning up against the window and headed to the front of the store and the locked cash register. But he left a trail of blood through the business from cuts on his hands from the window.
When the two men ran out into the parking lot fighting, Thompson yelled to a nearby witness to call police. Officers arrived minutes later and found the suspect lying in some grass only one building away. He told police he had been assaulted, but they didn't buy it, Edwards said.
Police believe this man may also be responsible for a previous burglary at Clean Flicks on Nov. 7, Edwards said.
Thompson said the man did the same thing last time, breaking out the window and going for the cash register. But Thompson hadn't locked the register — and the thief walked out with $140.
"It's like he doesn't like Clean Flicks," Thompson said. "I'm lucky I came back (to my office)."
Although there is a security camera, Thompson said he rarely turns it on because he hasn't needed to activate it. "I've been here for three years and never had a problem," he said. "(Then), twice in two weeks."
Police also booked two 14-year-old boys into the Slate Canyon Detention facility Friday after an officer noticed them outside of school during school hours.
After talking with them, the boys admitted they had previously broken into a home and had the stolen cameras and jewelry in their backpacks, Edwards said.
They later confessed to police they were responsible for nine other burglaries in the south end of Orem during the past two weeks.