By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Resident calls help to put drug dealers behind bars in area


Last updated 8/8/2016 at 5:31pm

As drug issues continue to plague many South Pittsburgh neighborhoods, Carrick/Overbrook Block Watch members are fighting back. Since July 11, several drug arrests were made as a result of information and complaints given by Carrick residents.

At this month’s Carrick/Overbrook Block Watch meeting, Zone 3 police officer Christine Luffey praised block watch members for continuously helping police identify drug activity and problem areas within the community.

“What I want you ladies and gentlemen to know is that your voices are being heard,” she said. “You come to these meetings every month, and we’re listening.”

Officer Luffey highlighted several drug arrests made because of block watch reports as well as a few other notable arrests taking place in July.

She described an incident in which a Carrick man was arrested on July 14 at 6:30 p.m. after police were called to the 100 block of Spencer Avenue following a report of a man in his car injecting heroin. Police pulled the vehicle over and found heroin and 15 hypodermic needles.

Another arrest occurred after two narcotics officers set up surveillance in the 1900 block of Westmont Avenue after receiving multiple reports from block watch members about activity in the area.

The detectives arrested a woman after she was observed walking towards a home on Westmont Avenue and conducting an exchange. Eight bags of heroin were found in her purse.

While investigating another home reported for drug activity, narcotics detectives discovered a warrant had been issued for a woman living in a residence on Westmont Avenue. The woman was located and taken into custody.

On July 19 at 3:50 p.m., police were investigating a block watch complaint about drug activity in the 2600 block of Brownsville Road. Detectives observed two males smoking marijuana on the property. One male was arrested at the scene.

On July 20 at 9:24 p.m., officers responded to a call on Merritt Avenue following a block watch report of a man injecting heroin on a porch. When police arrived, the suspect fled on a bicycle. Police pursued and arrested the man in an alley after finding two hypodermic needles on his person.

Another drug arrest happened on July 27 at 12 p.m. when narcotics detectives obtained a search warrant for a residence in the 1600 block of Oakhurst Street. After forced entry, they discovered the suspect in the basement and recovered a firearm along with marijuana in zip-locked bags, a surveillance camera, a digital scale, and over 7,000 dollars. The suspect was arrested.

In addition to drug activity, prostitution continues to be a problem on Brownsville Road as two arrests were made on July 21. Ten arrests were also made on Brownsville Road in Knoxville throughout the month of July.

A homicide occurred on July 23 at 10:22 p.m. Police responded to reports of a stabbing on Merritt Avenue. The victim’s sister, 30-year-old Monica Brown, was arrested at the scene.

“Without you, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are,” Officer Luffey said. “I want to thank you for your hard work and commitment to making Carrick and Overbrook safe places to live.”

In addition to the events discussed by Officer Luffey, a crime handout distributed at the meeting listed 57 criminal incidents in Carrick between July 11 and August 1 including 14 thefts, nine incidents of criminal mischief, eight simple assaults, and four stolen vehicles. The report listed 15 incidents in Overbrook.

Prior to the crime report, several other announcements were made at the meeting.

Representative Harry Readshaw from the PA House of Representatives announced the governor is planning a special session to discuss legislation on opioids and prescription drug abuse. The session is scheduled for September.

“We’re in session and we have a multitude of subject matters, legislation that we deal with,” Rep. Readshaw said. “But when you call a special session, that means that is what we’re going to be dealing with strictly: legislation on drugs, opioids.”

Trish Hatfield from the Carrick Community Council announced the Carrick Corn Fest will be August 27 from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Phillips Park. More than 42 vendors including seven food vendors will be participating. There will be multiple forms of entertainment including several live bands.

The next Carrick / Overbrook block watch meeting will be September 12 in the Concord K5 auditorium.


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