Salt Lake City Police take serial theft suspect into custody

Mar 28, 2023, 10:00 PM | Updated: Mar 29, 2023, 11:25 am

SLC airport ranks 3rd in on-time departures...

FILE: Terminal at Salt Lake City Internationak Airport with plane taking off. on Tuesday, Salt Lake City Police took an alleged serial theft suspect into custody at the airport. Photo Credit: HOK, Bruce Damonte

SALT LAKE CITY — Officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department safely took a serial theft suspect into custody Tuesday as he was traveling through Salt Lake City International Airport. The 30-year-old man is accused of allegedly stealing roughly $4,100 from a store inside the airport.

“This is a long investigation,” said Salt Lake Police Detective Ben Nielsen, “that just kind of shows our commitment to our community to be sure that our airport is safe not just for people who reside here in Salt Lake, but people who are traveling through.”

Using surveillance video and ticketing information, police found that on Feb. 15, the suspect walked into the Salt Lake City Dufrey Shopping Store and allegedly stole seven boxes of perfume. According to store employees, the loss was valued at roughly $1,250. 

On March 14, the suspect, who has been identified as Alai H. Harb entered the same store and allegedly took 13 boxes of perfume and a pair of sunglasses. Police say employees valued the loss at roughly $2,000.

On March 26, the suspect allegedly took seven boxes of fragrance for women and men. This loss was valued at $900 by store employees.

According to police, in all three alleged incidents, Harb was a ticketed and confirmed airline passenger.

On Tuesday, SLCPD received information that Harb would be traveling through the airport. Officers with the SLCPD’s Airport Division coordinated an arrest plan. Harb was taken into custody without incident or disruption to airport operations, according to a SLCPD news release. 

As he was being taken into custody, a prescription pill bottle in the name of another individual was found in possession of the suspect. Police say the pills inside the container did not match what was on the label.

SLCPD is conducting a follow-up to see if the suspect is responsible for any other alleged crimes in other cities. 

Police booked the theft suspect into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of one count of felony retail theft, two counts of felony retail theft and one count of possession of a controlled substance and multiple warrants.

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Salt Lake City Police take serial theft suspect into custody