PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Six suspects are in custody after a series of vehicle break-ins.
Smallman Street in the Strip District was a prime spot for a group of thieves. They’d normally strike in the early afternoon, targeting vehicles displaying valuables inside including cell phones, purses and GPS devices.
Police say the six suspects broke into as many as 150 cars throughout Pittsburgh over the summer.
“If you had a laptop, GPS, or iPod sitting in plain view, [the suspects] say it was the owners own stupidity that they deserved what they got,” Detective William Churilla says.
Once the group obtained the items, the ring leader Anthony Meiglitz, sold the stolen items at local flea markets. Meiglitz then used the money to pay his cohorts off.
“He was feeding them Heroin or a small amount of money to fuel them to continue to do this every day,” Detective Churilla says. “They were getting orders from drug dealers on special radios and things they wanted for their cars.”
Police have two men in custody and are looking for the others.
Police are advising car owners to keep valuables out of sight and came up with a campaign called, “Remove It or Lose It.”