South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Carrick updated on crime reports


October 10, 2017

Carrick residents were updated on a recent armed robbery and several drug arrests in the community at October’s meeting of the Carrick/Overbrook Block Watch in the Concord K5 auditorium on Brownsville Road.

Block watch organizer Carol Anthony opened the meeting by inquiring about dwindling attendance numbers, which dropped to an estimated 40 people per meeting in recent months. Several well-attended meetings earlier in the year saw attendance figures between 70 and 90.

Zone 3 police officer Christine Luffey urged residents to attend meetings when possible, as reports from community members are a critical tool for local police.

“[The police] receive some really good information from people like you,” Officer Luffey said.

Those in attendance received a monthly crime report detailing 46 incidents that police responded to in Carrick and Overbook between September 11 and October 2. The report included 16 thefts, one aggravated assault, and four drug arrests.

Officer Luffey also provided details on several of the notable incidents listed in the report:

A drug arrest occurred on September 12 at 6:30 p.m. when officers responded to a report of a man slumped over behind the wheel of a parked car near the intersection of Glenbury Street and Aaron Avenue in Overbook.

According to the report, police discovered numerous hypodermic needles, heroin bags, and marijuana in the vehicle. The suspect was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Pizza Hut on Brownsville Road in Carrick was robbed on September 12 at 9 p.m. According to the report, a male suspect entered the store, hopped the counter, and demanded money from the register while holding an employee at knifepoint.

Officer Luffey said the suspect apologized and admitted to being an addict before he fled with $230 from the register. Police are currently using video surveillance in the investigation.

A man was robbed while walking on Brownsville Road near Calhoun Avenue on September 17 at 11 p.m. According to police, the victim’s cash, wallet, ID, and phone were stolen by a white male, approximately 6’3 with short brown hair, after he refused to give the suspect a cigarette. The robbery is under investigation.

A cyclist was pulled over on September 15 at 1:15 a.m. after police observed him riding against the flow of traffic on Brownsville Road and East Meyers Street. The suspect was charged after police discovered hypodermic needles on his person.

Two women were charged with possession of marijuana after police were called to a tanning salon in the 2100 block of Brownsville Road. According to the report, employees called police after both women remained in the tanning rooms with the door locked for over an hour. When police arrived, they found marijuana on the suspects.

A female was arrested on September 16 at 6 p.m. after police responded to a 911 report of a woman under the porch of a vacant house in the 100 block of Kirk Avenue. Officer Luffey said the suspect provided a false name and date of birth to the officer.

In addition to three bench warrants, police also discovered that the suspect had 26 bags of heroin, needles, a crack pipe, 11 empty stamp bags, and $2,010 in cash. The suspect was arrested and charged.

A man had his Adderall prescription stolen on September 22 at 4 p.m. in the 1900 block of Brownsville Road. A female suspect lured the man behind the BP gas station before grabbing his prescription of 60 Adderall pills and fleeing the scene.

According to the report, the suspect’s first name is Kelly, and she is a white female in her early 30s and weighs approximately 120 pounds.

A drug arrest was made on September 28 at 6 p.m. in the 500 block of Parallel Avenue when police responded to a report of a white male in an orange shirt injecting narcotics while sitting in a red car. When police arrived at the scene, they discovered hypodermic needles and full stamp bags. The suspect was charged.

Officer Luffey also said the Berg Place apartment building has been boarded up due to reports of squatters.

After the crime report, the block watch heard a short presentation from Matt Pelton of Adult and Teen Challenge of Western Pennsylvania, a national drug and alcohol rehabilitation program that emphasizes the importance of long-term treatment.

According to Mr. Pelton, the organization offers a 30-day addiction recovery program, but enrolling in a 14-month program is often a critical factor for success.

“With this crisis and this problem, 30 days isn’t going to do it,” Mr. Pelton said.

Adult and Teen Challenge started in 1955. They have a local all-male facility in Cheswick, near Route 28; however, other facilities throughout the state accept females. The program is not intended for anyone under the age of 17.

A resident asked about the best strategies for keeping drugs out of the community. Mr. Pelton said having community groups that allow neighbors to come together and report crime is one of the most effective methods to prevent drug crime.

At the end of the meeting, Officer Luffey also announced that the annual “Get Stuffed with Love” program will take place again this year. The program provides free Thanksgiving dinners to anyone living in the City of Pittsburgh.

There are no additional requirements to receive a free Thanksgiving dinner. Residents within Zone 3 who wish to receive a meal may contact Officer Luffey at the Zone 3 police station.

Last year, the program provided 3,120 meals to Pittsburgh residents in need.

The next Carrick/Overbrook Block Watch meeting will be Monday, Nov. 5 in the Concord K5 auditorium on Brownsville Road.


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