PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There were an unusually high number of car break-ins on Pittsburgh’s South Side over the weekend, and police say the upcoming Fourth of July holiday could be even worse.

There have been more than 100 of these break-ins, called “smash and grabs,” since May. The most recent took place this past weekend in South Side.

“It’s spread out,” Lt. Craig Campbell with the Pittsburgh Police said in May. “They’re in Shadyside, they’re in Squirrel Hill, they’re in Oakland. It’s not really concentrated in one area.”

The thieves hit hard in May with almost 65 break-ins in a month on streets like Northumberland and Barnsdale in Squirrel Hill and Boundary Street in Oakland.

“People are leaving high-dollar items — laptops, money, wallets — they’re leaving them on the seat,” Campbell said, “or they’re getting out, and they’re tucking it under the seat. People are seeing them put a purse or a wallet in there, and somebody’s watching and then comes along and takes that item.”

So you lose the item, and you also have to pay hundreds of dollars to have the window replaced.

Some things regarding enforcement police can’t talk about, some they can.

“We have plain-clothes officers addressing the situation, and we have stepped up patrols in the area,” Campbell said. “We’re just hoping to catch the guy in the act.”

Police expect real problems this weekend. People parking along Mt. Washington or at Station Square are encouraged to take their belongings with them.

Police say they are putting together an “aggressive” plan to catch those responsible, and they are close to at least one suspect.

Nearly 12 Cars Damaged In South Side Smash & Grabs (6/12/2014)
Police Seek Suspect In East End Smash And Grab Break-Ins (5/20/2014)
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