Police investigating after several Pittsburgh neighborhoods hit with string of car break-ins

PITTSBURGH — People living in several Pittsburgh neighborhoods have become the target of a string of car break-ins where their back vent windows are being smashed.

“It’s something that I think the whole neighborhood is concerned about,” said Paul Fireman.

Paul Fireman rehabbed the old firehouse on Penn Avenue in Point Breeze. It now houses his business. He says right around the corner on North Lang Avenue and Meade Street, several cars were hit.

“Everything in the car was rummaged through, and I was trying to figure out if I left the car unlocked,” said Adam Rauf. “Did I make a mistake or something? And then I went around the other side and saw glass everywhere.”

Adam Rauf says two weeks ago someone smashed one of the back vent windows of his Toyota Corolla. He also shared a picture of a different car targeted in his neighborhood.

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“As I talked to more and more neighbors throughout the neighborhood, they’re like oh yeah I have a Toyota Corolla or I have a Toyota vehicle and my port window was broken and they rummaged inside,” said Rauf. “They stole loose change. No one keeps anything of value in their cars because it’s like why would you at this point? At the same time, it’s still a nuisance. It costs a couple hundred dollars to replace the glass. That little port window ends up costing a lot more than you think it does.”

Another woman on North Lang Avenue says the same thing happened to her Toyota over the weekend, twice. She says Safelite Auto Glass on Frankstown Road told her she was number 55 just this month. Over the last two months, that Safelite says they’ve repaired about 80. Almost all of them were Toyotas, 2013s and older, coming from Point Breeze, Highland Park, Shadyside and Regent Square.

“It’s been happening a lot, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down,” said Fireman.

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It’s unclear how many police reports have been filed with Pittsburgh police, but they are asking anyone with any video of these incidents to send them to Zone 4 officers.

“I think we’re going to put up cameras on the side of the fire house just to be able to pick up some of what’s going on,” said Fireman.

“I really hope that this doesn’t continue to happen to other people,” said Rauf. “I’m very curious to see why it’s in particular Toyotas are being targeted over any other cars. It’s like we have a lot of other cars in the neighborhood, but the Toyotas are the ones that have all the breaks in them.”

Pittsburgh police continue to encourage people to report similar crimes and want to remind residents to lock their car doors.