Police stepping up patrols in Pittsburgh’s Knoxville neighborhood after recent car vandalism, theft

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police are stepping up patrols in the city’s Knoxville neighborhood after several incidents of car vandalism and theft.

The spokesperson for the police department told Channel 11 that detectives are investigating the cases, but there have been no arrests leaving many neighbors along Mathews Avenue on edge.

The latest incident happened behind a family’s house early Monday morning on July 1. A car fire woke Samantha and her family up. They captured cell phone video showing flames shooting out of the car as firefighters hosed it down.

“At like 5:30 in the morning we just heard a real loud boom because something exploded in the car,” said Samantha, who asked not to use her last name. “I could see the orange and I was like, ‘Oh my God. I think your car is on fire.’”

Neighbors on Mathews Avenue said before the car was torched, it was stolen by a group of teens who have been wreaking havoc on the street for months.

“My passenger back window was busted in,” said Samantha. “They threw a concrete slab through my wife’s windshield that was parked in my driveway behind my house.”

Samantha said a total of eight car windows had been smashed. Other neighbors claim their cars were stolen.

In May, Samantha said her dad’s car was set on fire and the windows were broken. She believes it was the same group of kids.

Her dad’s burnt-out car is sitting in the driveway.

“We don’t know what’s salvageable in the car,” she said.

Neighbors told Channel 11′s Antoinette DelBel they’re living in fear. While Samantha is happy about the beefed-up police patrols, she believes more needs to be done to find the suspects.

“We don’t know what they’re going to do because they just don’t care at this point,” Samantha said.

Samantha would like to see cameras put up along the street to help catch whoever is behind these crimes.

“Put some cameras up so they can catch these kids because it’s ridiculous,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to live like this.”

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