Boy discovers stolen truck; Jeannette police warn residents to lock vehicles
Blake Ferguson, a third-grader at McKee K-8, got a chance to do a good deed for a neighbor this fall.
One Sunday, as Ferguson was playing in a wooded area near the South Sixth Street playground while visiting his dad, he discovered a pick up truck hidden amongst the trees and underbrush.
“I was walking behind Sixth Street Park and I saw a truck, a red Dodge, and I went up and looked inside and nobody was there. I got my bike and went and got my dad and we went to the police,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson and his father, Wayne Altman, went to the police department to report finding the truck. They learned the truck belonged to Ron Dinsmore of Pleasant Park. Dinsmore’s truck was stolen just the night before from his driveway.
The truck was seen on a neighbor’s security camera as it was driven around the block but there were no leads in the case.
Dinsmore was extremely pleased that Ferguson found his truck and made a personal visit to thank the boy and offer a reward.
“I’m just so proud of him, he did a good thing,” said Lora Ferguson, the boy’s mother.
Ferguson is a typical third-grader who likes to play sports, ride his bike and also likes to collect “colored rocks,” or cullet that can often be found in local creeks beds.
He lives with his mother and stepfather, Ron Beam, on the north side of Jeannette.
Jeannette police Chief Shannon Binda said officers believe that someone is dropping people off in neighborhoods to look for unlocked cars to steal items and the perpetrators are picked up later that night.
Although this has been a problem all over Jeannette, the Pleasant and Paruco park neighborhoods and other neighborhoods closer to the Route 30 corridor have sustained a large number of car break-ins.
“All these cars have been unlocked so people need to lock their cars. There seems to be a rash right now in Pleasant and Paruco parks. Mostly they are moving through for a quick hit and taking things like change, GPS units and that sort of thing. If residents see anything suspicious they should call 911,” said Binda.
The chief emphasized that residents need to call 911. It is the best way to reach the Jeannette Police Department as there is no longer a full-time secretary. Calling 911 ensures that officers can act quickly.
“The citizenry has more eyes then the Jeannette Police Department. What might seem small and petty often helps us to break a case. Don’t wait until the next day, call 911,” said Binda.
Jimmy Thompson, who lives near Elliott Company with his mother, Kelly Simpson, recently had his car vandalized.
Nothing was stolen and Thompson believes this is because he always keeps his car locked.
His mother repeats Binda’s advice.
“Keep your eyes open—neighbors can help each other,” said Simpson.
Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.