Pittsburgh public safety officials urged neighbors to look out for each other to combat a rise in burglaries throughout the city this year, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Citywide, 100 more burglaries were reported between January and May of this year than were reported during the same time period last year. Burglaries are up 21 percent from a year ago.
The data underscore the need for more block watches, in which neighbors routinely spot and report problems to authorities, police Chief Nate Harper said. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said overall crime has fallen in the city for the sixth year in a row, which he attributed to a combination of police equipment and training, community policing, and efforts to bolster development and reduce blight. It isn’t clear why break-ins are up. Sgt. Kevin Gasiorowski of the burglary squad said his detectives have encountered several serial burglars. “One person can really drive the numbers,” he said.