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Police urge caution in wake of Westmoreland burglaries

| Saturday, April 28, 2012, 2:58 a.m.

After reports of a "large number" of commercial burglaries in recent weeks, state police are urging Westmoreland County business and club owners and employees to take precautions to protect their work sites.

According to police, a dozen burglaries have taken place in June, with incidents primarily concentrated in the county's southern section. The burglaries include two each in Youngwood, New Stanton, Unity and Mount Pleasant Township and four in East Huntingdon.

"That's a very high number," said state police spokeswoman Trooper Jeanne Martin.

The incidents have taken place overnight and in the early morning hours.

In most cases, police said, doors were pried open or entry was gained through the roof. Electrical and utility lines have been severed at some businesses. The items stolen include cash and safes.

Police advise owners and employees not to leave money in their buildings overnight. Residents in the area of businesses are asked to be aware of suspicious activity and contact police if they notice anything questionable.

"Some of these (burglaries) may be random," Martin said. "But we don't believe they are all unrelated."

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