Bold, brazen car thefts target South Hills neighborhoods

SCOTT TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Over the past month, dozens of cars have either been stolen or broken into in several South Hills communities, including Brookfield Road in Scott Township, this week. In the latest rash, thieves stole a Mercedes along with two other cars and broke into several others.

“It’s very scary. I honestly couldn’t even sleep last night because it’s just unnerving,” said Kelsey Ball, a neighbor who lives next door and across the street from cars that were stolen and ransacked.

Police found the stolen Mercedes ditched on the Northside, badly damaged. The owner asked us to hide his identity because the thieves still have his keys.

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“That’s what the police said, bold and brazen, and I found out later there were about 15 homes in the neighborhood that they went through the cars and took out all the belongings,” the man said.

Bill Swart is the neighbor who called police after hearing a commotion outside.

“It was very low chatter, no screaming. And then one car was backing out and scraped against the wall, and then there was a little panic,” he said.

A neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the thieves in action. The video didn’t show faces, but the voices were clear as the thieves abandoned a stolen Honda in a neighbor’s driveway.

The one thing most of the cars had in common was that the doors were left unlocked. Several even had the keys left inside.

“It was very coordinated. There was a lot of vehicles involved. As I was on the phone with the cops another car pulled up. Things were happening as I was talking to them,” Swart said.

Police are now investigating a possible car theft ring with similar incidents reported in multiple areas over the last month. Areas hit include Beechview, Scott Township, Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Kennedy Township and Bethel Park.

“On the 29th of September in Bethel Park, we had 12 unlocked vehicles entered and ransacked, and two others stolen. One was recovered in Mt. Lebanon, but another was used in a serious crime that’s under investigation in the city,” said Bethel Park Police Chief Tim O’Connor.

O’Connor said multiple departments are now working together on the case.

“We’d really like to put a stop to it, especially if they’re going to use the cars in a serious crime.” O’Connor said.

Police say it’s important to double check before bed that your cars are locked.