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Mysterious substance shoved into lock at Brookline businesses, preventing anyone from getting in

PITTSBURGH — An unsettling mystery in Brookline -- someone is shoving a red substance into door locks of businesses, preventing owners from getting inside.

Randa Ghassa’s restaurant, Jolina’s, was the latest victim. Her husband made the odd discovery when he tried to open the restaurant’s front door.

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Ghassa told Channel 11 that police said three or four businesses suffered the same fate recently, and others had Gorilla Glue and the mysterious substance on the doors.

“COVID is hard on everyone. Everyone is going through a tough time, but we need to learn to stay together and support each other through this hard time and hopefully we’ll pass it,” Ghassa said.

The owner of a business across the street said she too was a victim, but the substance was crammed inside her car door locks.

According to police, investigators have a suspect. And Ghassa said it is not just kids pulling a prank.

Ghassa’s focus remains on her family-run business and the support she is getting from the local community. Several customers have posted encouraging words on social media and vowed to stop by and place an order during tough times.

The Ghassa family has a second Jolina’s restaurant in Oakland. Tuesday morning, a car plowed into the building, taking out a window and leaving behind a huge mess to clean up.