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Tarentum police seek help in rash of break-ins

| Saturday, June 2, 2001

TARENTUM: After two years of relatively few break-ins, the number of burglaries in the borough has risen sharply.

Police Chief Dave Sieber estimated Friday that so far this year, there have been 25 burglaries. Usually by the end of May, the number of burglaries is five, Sieber said.

In May alone, there were five, Sieber said - most attributed to a group of four or five juveniles and young adults who live in the borough.

'We feel confident we know who they are, we just can't prove it in court yet,' Sieber said. 'If we could get a citizen's identification of them, that would help out greatly.'

The break-ins have been spread throughout the borough - some along East Eighth Avenue and some along West Ninth, 10th and 11th avenues.

Sieber said the thieves are looking for opportunities. They are seeing if lights are on in houses, cars are parked in driveways or whether newspapers have piled up outside. Sieber said they will knock on a door, and if no one answers, they will force their way in through back doors or windows.

'Make sure your doors and windows are locked, even if you only go out for a few minutes,' Sieber said.

The thieves have taken mostly jewelry, he said. So far, there has been no face-to-face confrontations with victims.

The Tarentum spree apparently is not related to recent break-in activity in Harrison.

In Harrison, there have been three break-ins the past month, Police Chief Mike Klein said Friday. Police suspect three township residents, he said.

Jonathan Szish can be reached at jszish@tribweb.com

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