PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Even a gloomy Friday isn’t enough to dampen the high spirits of the Strip District.
Whether local or tourist, it is the destination for a Primanti Bros. sandwich or a chat at the Penn-Mac cheese counter.
But Strip patrons leaving valuables in parked vehicles are tempting fate.
“For someone who is gonna commit a crime to be able to get in someone’s car, take what they want and leave the scene quite quickly,” says Commander Eric Holmes, of the Zone 2 Police Station.
Smash and grab thefts and shattered windows are greeting people returning to their cars.
“You see where any problems are, you have to hit it quick,” and says Becky Rodgers.
A partnership between Neighbors In The Strip and Zone 2 Police helped to break up a major theft from auto ring targeting the Strip District over the summer months.
“They’ll put someone undercover in the parking lots,” adds Rodgers.
“We’re taking, here at Zone 2, a three-pronged approach,” says Commander Holmes.
If a beat officer sees items in plain sight, you may find a ticket on your windshield.
“It looks like a parking ticket, but in actuality, it’s just a reminder that an officer was on patrol, came across a vehicle with some potential items that someone could take,” Commander Holmes said.
Theft victims are given information to prevent a repeat, and Zone 2 officers are getting refresher certification in fingerprinting.
“Officers can take prints from the vehicle, enter it into a database and try and develop suspects,” said Commander Holmes.
All these preventives appear to be paying off.
It’s kind of interesting, over the past 10 years, our part one crime and our crime in general is down over 60 percent,” said Rodgers.