South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Business robberies dominate discussion at Carrick block watch

 


A recent string of robberies impacting four Carrick businesses on Brownsville Road was addressed by Pittsburgh Police at the Carrick / Overbrook crime watch meeting at the Concord K5 Gymnasium.

CoGo’s, Pizza Hut, Rite Aid, and Carrick Hardware were all scenes of robberies or attempted robberies between January 8 and January 20. While it’s unclear if the incidents are related, Zone 3 police were able to collect evidence and descriptions of the possible suspects.

“I want you to know police officers in uniform as well as in regular civilian clothes are monitoring, patrolling, and watching your neighborhood twenty-four seven,” Pittsburgh Police Officer Christine Luffey said. “My biggest message to you is this: if you see something, say something.”

Officer Luffey provided an overview of each incident, the evidence collected, and descriptions of the suspects.

The first incident occurred on January 8 at 8:25 p.m. when police were called to the scene of a robbery at CoGo’s in the 2800 block of Brownsville Road. The robber was described as a white male with a black gun. Video surveillance footage was also collected by police.

Police were then called to the Pizza Hut in the 2100 block of Brownsville Road on January 17 at 9 p.m. for an attempted robbery. According to Officer Luffey, a man entered the store with a hood and a cold weather mask. The clerk was able to press the alarm button and shut himself in a cooler. Upon exiting the cooler, the suspect was gone and nothing was taken during the incident.

On January 18 at 9:32 p.m. police were called to Rite Aid in the 1200 block of Brownsville Road. A man entered the store and picked up two snack items before pulling out a gun at the register. Employees said the man appeared to be between 22 to 23 years old with a light complexion.

Carrick Hardware was robbed on January 20 at 4:05 p.m. by a man with a semi-automatic pistol and black nylon bag. The man was described as approximately 6’1, 170 pounds. He was wearing dark pants and dark shoes.

“I can honestly tell you that we are doing everything humanly possible to bring those people responsible for these crimes to justice,” Officer Luffey said. “All four of these cases are under investigation; however, in a few of them we have some evidence that will be useful when solving these crimes.”

Pittsburgh Police Assistant Chief of Operations Scott Schubert also addressed the incidents and said most robberies are committed by individuals looking for drugs or those seeking to assert power over other people.

“With the street robberies and business robberies, a lot of them are fueled by drugs,” Chief Schubert said. “A lot of the robberies, the people who are doing it, they don’t want to hurt anybody. They just can’t get any money from anybody else.”

Chief Schubert introduced Lt. Ed Cunningham, who is serving as Zone 3 Police commander while both Commander Karen Dixon and backup commander Lt. Lori McCartney are out on medical leave.

According to Lt. Cunningham, Zone 3 police have conducted more than 161 directed patrols and 152 business checks in Carrick since January 13. They’ve also made six physical arrests in this time frame.

Lt. Cunningham also said officers are patrolling on foot while speaking with neighbors, shoppers, and business owners.

“We take it personally when somebody decides to rob our businesses and rob our citizens,” Lt. Cunningham said. “Since the 13th, we’ve staffed 113 overtime shifts in a half of a month to make sure we have officers on the street in Carrick 24 hours per day.”

The next Carrick / Overbrook crime watch meeting will be on March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Concord K5 gymnasium.

 

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