Pittsburgh police remove dozens of abandoned vehicles during blitz

PITTSBURGH — Dozens of abandoned vehicles were towed by Pittsburgh police Wednesday as they conducted a blitz across several city neighborhoods.

Officials said over the course of two days, the city investigated 102 complaints throughout Homewood, Morningside, Lincoln-Lemington and Garfield. 39 vehicles were towed, one could not be towed because of its condition, 11 letters will be sent for vehicles that met the criteria for being towed and nearly 50 complaints were cleared either because the vehicle had already been removed or was legally registered.

“Abandoned vehicles are a blight on neighborhoods and we’re making a special commitment of resources to address them,” said Mayor Bill Peduto. “I urge residents to help police by letting us know of any such vehicles in their neighborhoods.”

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Police will repeat the blitzes throughout the city in the coming weeks and months to clear as many complaints as possible.

Residents may report abandoned vehicles to the 311 Response Center by calling 311 or 412-255-2621, or by filing an online 311 Request Form.

“When we went back and looked at it, we found complaints that were years old and some of those vehicles are still there,” Police Commander Ed Trapp said.

On Ladson Street in Lincoln-Lemington crews towed eight vehicles. Most were undriveable.

“Nobody has done nothing to them. They’ve just been sitting here, nobody’s looked at them or done anything with them. I’m happy they’re gone, for real,” resident James Taylor-Lane said.

In the past when neighbors have complained about abandoned vehicles, little has been done. Trapp says changes have been made to limit backlogs allowing police to be more effective.

“There was not a good system in place. We overhauled how everything is done is the best way to describe it, to make it more efficient and have a better tracking system,” he said.