PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Allegheny County parks are a great place to get out and enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise, but police are warning Pittsburghers about a rash of smash and grab incidents.
Police say a suspect has been smashing car windows, but now that they know his identity, they are hoping to put an end to it.
Detectives believe Andre Jennings is the man behind the break-ins. He is 38 years old and stands about 5-foot-3.
Despite warnings from police, it doesn’t take long to spot valuables in parked cars. KDKA found a number of vehicles in North Park with the contents inside the cars clearly visible for anyone to see.
“Like when I’m going for a walk, I leave my wallet or cell phone in the car,” Kaitlyn Gallon said in North Park on Wednesday. “But like I’ll hide it, maybe under the seat and stuff.”
“There are a lot of friendly people around so maybe they don’t think that’s something they need to worry about,” Adam Fink said. “But you can’t trust everybody.”
Allegheny County Police say North Park and some other county parks, including Settlers Cabin and South Park, have experienced a rash of “smash and grab” car thefts in recent months. Police say they’re aware of about dozen car thefts in the parks since May, and there may be others which haven’t been reported to authorities, perhaps because the victims were embarrassed or ashamed to report the loss.
Detectives believe Jennings is responsible for the park break-ins and thefts.
“The actor would smash out the window, go into the car and remove the valuables, specifically, credit cards,” Allegheny County Detective Michael Kuma said. “He would later use the credit cards in various retail establishments to purchase gift cards in large amounts.”
County Police say there is an active warrant out for Jennings arrest. Jennings sometimes wears glasses, which alters his appearance slightly. He was seen in several different vehicles in places where he’s made gift card purchases.
“We caution people about not leaving their valuables in their vehicle,” Detective Kuma said. “If you must leave them in your car, you should probably lock them in the trunk.”
If you have any information, Pittsburgh Crime Stoppers would like to hear from you. The number is 412-255-8477.
There is a reward, and you can remain anonymous.