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Penn Hills police make arrest in string of thefts

| Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Penn Hills police have arrested a Penn Hills man after a rash of thefts near the municipality's Universal neighborhood.

Between Aug. 17 and 19, 12 separate incidents of theft occurred on Twin Oak, Cedarwood and Cimarron drives.

Police Chief Howard Burton said the majority of thefts have been from backyard sheds and vehicles.

The value of stolen property ranges from less than $50 to more than $200.

Investigations Sgt. Michael Hudek said the case is ongoing, and police are not releasing the man's name.

Burton said thieves often will target areas with which they're familiar and can easily get around.

“They're maybe familiar with the area and know what's available,” he said. “They may be trying to start a lawn and garden business, because it's been lawnmowers and wheelbarrows, that type of thing.”

Hudek said the thefts have included a wide variety of lawn tools.

Burton advised residents to be alert, but added that protecting against this type of theft can be difficult.

“Lighting your backyard is a common thing, so you can see if people are around at night,” he said. “But a lot of these come about late at night, when people are already sleeping.”

The earliest morning theft was reported Aug. 19 at 7:30 a.m., on the 900 block of Cedarwood Drive.

The majority of thefts were reported between 5 and 9 p.m., according to police records.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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