South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Crime updates, news of new safety position outlined in Carrick


A monthly crime report, a Big Brothers Big Sisters program overview, and the announcement of a new Zone 3 Public Safety official were all part of this month’s Carrick/Overbrook Crime Watch meeting.

Zone 3 officer Christine Luffey opened the meeting with an overview of last month’s significant criminal incidents which occurred in Carrick and Overbrook.

According to Officer Luffey, two arrests were made at Sky Spa in the 2500 block of Library Road after police received several complaints of misconduct.

Detectives visited Sky Spa posing as customers and made the arrests after an employee agreed to accept $200 in exchange for “more than a massage.” Two employees were arrested and charged with promoting prostitution and criminal conspiracy.

Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred at the Uni-Mart on Brownsville Road on September 7 at 1:50 a.m. Police said an African American entered the store and demanded that customers and employees move behind the register. The suspect took cash from the register, robbed customers, and filled a bag with cigarettes before leaving the scene.

An arrest was made in Overbrook on September 14 at 5:12 p.m. when police apprehended a man with a suspended license operating a vehicle in the CoGo’s convenience store parking lot. When police approached the man, he also admitted to possessing marijuana.

Police observed another suspicious man in a vehicle in Carrick shopping center on September 14 at 6:30 p.m. When they approached the vehicle, the passenger attempted to conceal a marijuana cigarette. He was charged with drug possession.

An arrest was made on September 14 at 6:30 p.m. following an accident at the intersection of Brownsville Road and Becks Run Road. Police recovered a stolen firearm at the scene and arrested two individuals.

Two were arrested for possession of a controlled substance after police observed them behaving suspiciously on Windfall Way on September 17 at 9:18 p.m.

Police executed a search warrant in the 1700 block of Leland Street to investigate a female resident on September 27 at 2:05 p.m. When police entered the home they found six bags of marijuana, sandwich bags, and a digital scale. Police arrested the suspect at the scene.

A Carrick High School student was robbed at gunpoint while walking to school on September 28 at 7:10 a.m. in the 200 block of The Boulevard. Police are investigating.

Police were patrolling the 2000 block of Delrose Street after several block watch complaints. They observed a male and a female exit a garage and act suspiciously while standing on the sidewalk. Police approached and discovered the individuals were carrying crack and a crack pipe, and the female had an existing warrant out for her arrest. Both suspects were arrested.

“Everybody keep up the good work,” Officer Luffey said. “You are the eyes and ears of the community. Keep doing what you’re doing.”

Following the crime report, an overview of the area’s Big Brothers Big Sisters program was provided by Tom Baker, chief community affairs officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh.

According to Mr. Baker, the Big Brothers Big Sisters program provides one-on-one mentoring for kids across the city. Volunteers commit to one year with the program and have bi-weekly visits with their “Little Brother” or “Little Sister.” Volunteers receive free tickets to sporting events, plays, and events across the city.

Mr. Baker reinforced the positive impact the program has in the community and encouraged Carrick residents to get involved.

Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak was next to speak. She announced her office and Economic Development South received a grant to hire a full-time public safety representative that will work to reduce the crime rate across Zone 3 municipalities.

Councilwoman Rudiak introduced Jessica Durkin, Americorps Vista Public Safety, who will work in the public safety representative role. Ms. Durkin will help analyze crime data and oversee criminal trends across municipal borders while working on solutions with the community and city departments.

“There have been successful examples of this in places like Lawrenceville, places like Manchester,” Councilwoman Rudiak said.

Ms. Durkin started her one-year assignment last month.

Next, Liz Style of the city’s Department of Public Safety announced Pittsburgh’s official trick-or-treat hours will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31.

She also said a citywide public safety meeting will occur on October 19. Each public safety bureau will talk about two new apps to assist in public safety efforts.

The first app, called MyBurgh, provides Pittsburgh residents with easy access to city services including 311. Another app, called Building Eye, allows residents to look up construction permits and report construction projects without proper building permits.

Ms. Style also announced she will be retiring around Thanksgiving of this year.

The meeting concluded with several announcements regarding upcoming community events.

The Carrick Community Council Halloween party for children will be on Saturday, October 29 at Philips Park from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

The Carrick Community Council meeting will be on November 14, and there will be an election for new board members.

The next Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch meeting will be on November 7 at 7 p.m. in the Concord K5 auditorium.


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