South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Crime stats are down for the last month in Carrick and Overbrook

 

December 11, 2018



The Carrick and Overbrook communities are enjoying a quiet start to the holiday season as police have observed lower crime rates dating back to October.

The drop in crime was announced at last week’s meeting of the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch as Zone 3 officer Christine Luffey distributed a monthly crime report that was about half its usual length.

Between November 5 and December 3, police recorded 43 criminal incidents in Carrick, 20 of which were thefts. Only nine incidents were reported in Overbrook. Officer Luffey provided details on four of the most notable cases that occurred within the last 30 days.

“I only have four or five cases to tell you about, and that’s a good thing,” officer Luffey said. “Everything is much, much lower this month.”

According to the report, a juvenile was charged with criminal trespassing on November 17 at 5:30 p.m. after police were dispatched to the 2000 block of Hazeldell street following a 911 report of juveniles entering a vacant home.

When police arrived, two juvenile suspects fled the scene while one remained in the building. Police drove the juvenile home and issued a citation.

Police are investigating another report of criminal trespassing that occurred on November 13 at 2:48 a.m. after a woman called 911 to report an African-American male between the ages of 20 and 25 entered her home.

According to police, the suspect fled after the woman threw a board game in his direction. Police noted the woman’s front door did not fully close and the yard was overgrown, which may have led the suspect to believe the home was abandoned.

A carjacking occurred on November 28 at 2:00 a.m. in the 1900 block of Brownsville Road. Police said two suspects asked the 22-year-old victim for a ride before they pointed two guns at the back of his head and demanded he exit the vehicle.

Undercover detectives spotted the victim’s car a few hours later, which led to a short police pursuit before the driver crashed the vehicle. Both suspects, who police say are known to the victim, fled the scene; however, the victim has been uncooperative and the case is still under investigation.

A zTrip driver was robbed on December 2 at 2:28 a.m. after transporting a male suspect from South Side to the 1000 block of Brownsville Road. The suspect robbed the zTrip driver at gunpoint and took off with his wallet and phone.

After police responded, the victim was able to use a tablet computer to trace the location of his cell phone to an address on Wynoka Street. Police arrested the suspect at the location and recovered the stolen property.

At the conclusion of the crime report, a resident asked what factors are causing crime to drop and if police believe the decrease is temporary. Officer Luffey responded that police have not yet identified a reason behind the decrease.

“I honestly don’t know,” officer Luffey said. “But I can tell you, whatever life throws at Carrick and Overbook, we’re going to deal with it.”

In addition to the crime report, several community announcements were made at the meeting:

Officer Luffey announced the results of the annual Get Stuffed with Love Program. Officers delivered 3,358 free Thanksgiving meals to residents in need across the city. 1,400 of those meals were delivered to Zone 3 residents.

“It was the best Thanksgiving I have ever worked,” officer Luffey said.

Carrick Community Council (CCC) board president Sherry Brown also announced the CCC elected 11 new board members last month and will hold their first formal board meeting in December. The next CCC member meeting will likely be in February.

“We’re really feeling positive all the time about Carrick,” Ms. Brown said. “We have so many new things planned.”

Carrick / Overbrook Block watch coordinator Carol Anthony announced she has stepped down after eight years as leader of the organization.

Ms. Anthony, who worked closely with officer Luffey to revive the organization in 2011, has played a critical role in growing the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch into what is often referred to as one of the largest community organizations in the city.

Ms. Anthony said she will remain active in the organization and will continue to attend the monthly meetings. She will also maintain a CCC board seat.

Carrick resident and CCC board member Donna McManus has taken over as leader of the organization.

Ms. McManus presented Ms. Anthony with a bouquet and thanked her for her hard work. Officer Luffey and state Rep. Harry Readshaw also recognized and thanked Ms. Anthony.

“I want to extend my thanks to Carol for her leadership and years of dedicated service to both communities and the block watch,” Mr. Readshaw said. “I want to believe that collectively we are all heading in the right direction.”

The next meeting of the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch will be January 7 at 25 Carrick Avenue.

 

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