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Man charged in multiple burglary cases at University of Utah

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Brendan Douglas Cook

Weber County Jail

SALT LAKE CITY — A suspected serial burglar who police say was breaking into buildings and stealing property on the University of Utah campus now faces a long list of criminal charges.

Multiple charging documents say investigators linked Brendan Douglas Cook, 39, to a series of burglaries and thefts on campus during January. In one case, Cook took three laptops, a headset and two controllers, according to charging documents.

But in several cases, Cook simply entered a building and left cigarette butts and other trash, and even notes signed with his name claiming he was looking for somebody, the charges state.

In another incident, a woman was working in her campus office on a Sunday afternoon when she heard someone “sniffing.” She found Cook sitting in the faculty lounge with a bottle of water, an iPad and discovered he had used the microwave, according to the charges. Cook left the building before police arrived. But officers who checked the iPad said they found an account under Cook’s name.

Cook was charged in five separate cases on Thursday in 3rd District Court. That’s in addition to the two cases that were filed against him on Monday. With all seven cases, Cook faces a total of seven counts of burglary and one count of theft, third-degree felonies, and one count each of criminal mischief and theft, class B misdemeanors.

Police believe they can connect Cook to 12 incidents on campus and said additional charges were still pending Thursday.

Cook only entered public buildings and did not enter any dormitories, which require a key card to get in, according to police. In some cases, detectives say Cook would enter a building during regular business hours, and then hide somewhere inside while it was being locked up for the night.

Police from Utah Transit Authority are credited with helping identify and catch Cook.

Cook was also charged Jan. 24 in Weber County’s 2nd District Court with theft by receiving stolen property and unlawful acquisition of a bank card, both third-degree felonies.

He was convicted of drug possession in December, and in April in four separate cases of theft by receiving stolen property, burglary, theft and drug distribution, according to court records.