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Northern Regional Police warn about increase in car break-ins

Karen Price
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The Northern Regional Police Department is warning residents to be vigilant about locking their car doors after a recent rash of thefts from vehicles in Pine, Richland and Marshall Townships.

Capt. John Sicilia said they’ve had 13 reported incidents of items stolen from unlocked vehicles in the Treesdale and Alderwood neighborhoods in Pine, the Orchard Park neighborhood in Richland and Tyburn Drive in Marshall in January.

Sicilia said the items missing range from money to wallets to electronics.

“The message we’re trying to get out is to lock your cars,” Sicilia said. “Take your valuables inside. If you absolutely have to leave valuables in your car, try to secure them in the trunk area.”

The NRPD recently posted information on its website regarding thefts from vehicles, including recent trends that point toward cars being increasingly targeted for their contents, and that one-third of vehicle break-ins occur in suburban areas according to FBI statistics.

In 2018 the NRPD investigated 56 vehicle break-ins in which items were stolen.

“They’re doing it for a reason, because they’re making a lot of money,” Sicilia said. “It’s not just us, it’s all over Western Pennsylvania and it’s a nationwide thing.”

They currently do not have any suspects for the recent string of car break-ins, Sicilia said. They have increased patrols during the very late night/early morning hours when the incidents have been occurring, he added, but the people responsible for such crimes can be difficult to catch because they operate on foot and can duck out of sight when they see headlights approaching.

The police are also asking for the public’s help, Sicilia said.

“A lot of people nowadays have their own private security and surveillance video, such as Ring doorbells,” he said. “We are asking anybody who has any suspicious activity or suspicious persons on record to please notify us, and to just be vigilant. If you see something or someone who looks out of place at those hours, please call 911. We’d rather go to a lot of false alarms than be taking reports the day after when we have actual victims.”

Karen Price is a Tribune-Review contributor.