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Plum police exploring links between recent burglaries

| Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Plum police have recovered a white sport-utility vehicle they say ran over a woman as it sped from the scene of a burglary.

Police Chief Jeffrey Armstrong said the 2012 GMC Acadia was recovered last weekend in a parking lot at the Oak Manor Place apartment complex off Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills, just over the Plum border.

“It is impounded and will be processed,” Armstrong said Monday.

Looking for evidence in the vehicle is part of an investigation into three home burglaries in the borough that occurred during the daylight hours this month, Armstrong said. The vehicle was stolen from a home on Limestone Court in the Rockland Manor plan, off New Texas Road, that was burglarized Feb. 10, he said.

Another burglary occurred at a home on Spring Hollow Court in the Greendale Village plan off Old Leechburg Road on Feb. 12, Armstrong said.

The third burglary occurred at a home in the 1700 block of Grove Crest Drive, also in the Greendale Village plan around 11:45 a.m. Feb. 21, Armstrong said.

Armstrong said cash and jewelry were taken in the burglaries.

Entry was made through a garage door that might not have been locked in the Limestone Court incident, Plum police Detective Ken Farmerie said. A window was broken to gain entry to the home on Spring Hollow Court, and a key hidden near the home was used to enter the home on Grove Crest Drive, Farmerie said.

Police said they think the three burglaries are connected but will not say how.

Plum police Sgt. James Miller said in the Feb. 21 burglary, the homeowner drove up to find an SUV parked in her driveway. She saw that the hatchback was open and knew that no one was supposed to be in the house.

“She confronted him as he came out of the front door,” Miller said.

The burglar ran out of the house, jumped into the SUV and drove around the woman's vehicle, which was partially blocking the driveway, Miller said.

“In the process, he ran over the woman's legs. Fortunately, it apparently wasn't life-threatening,” Miller said.

The woman, who police did not identify, was treated at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, Armstrong said.

The woman told police the burglar is about 5 feet, 9 inches, to 6 feet tall and thin.

Miller said the man had neatly-trimmed facial hair and was wearing blue jeans and sneakers.

Armstrong encouraged residents to use common sense when leaving their homes.

“If you're not at home during the day, make sure your home is secure,” Armstrong said. “Turn a TV or radio on to create an illusion that someone is inside, and keep the drapes drawn so no one can see in.”

Residents need to be careful about hiding keys outdoors, the chief said.

Farmerie advised residents to call 911 if they see a vehicle in their driveway that doesn't belong there.

“Don't explore it on your own,” Farmerie said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8753 or

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