Project Blue Light is a nationwide recognition of those Police Officers who have died in the line of duty.
It began in 1988 in Philadelphia when Dolly Craig wrote a letter to COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) stating that she would be honoring her late son-in-law, Philadelphia Police Officer Danny Gleason, during the holiday season by placing a blue light in her window.
We would like to ask each of you to please consider placing a blue light in your window during the holiday season to show your support for your police officers.
Daylight Burglary on Sleepy Hollow Road reported. No Force, Cash taken 11-20-13
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a daylight Burglary which occurred on Sleepy Hollow Rd on Sunday Nov 17, 2013. Actor(s) apparently entered through an unlocked ground floor window and took cash.
Mt Lebanon and Dormont Police are investigating similar crimes during this time frame.
Please be on the lookout for suspicious people, vehicles or activity and report same to CSPD by calling 9-1-1 immediately.
Also, please lock doors and window when you are not at home and when you go to bed at night.
If you have information about this crime, please call Allegheny County Dispatch 412.473.3056 and ask to have a CSPD officer contact you.
National Take-Back Initiative
October 26, 2013 - 10AM to 2PM 10-24-13
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Castle Shannon residents are invited to drop off old prescription and over the counter medicine at Medical Rescue Team South Headquarters 315 Cypress Way Pgh Pa 15234. (Cypress Way runs off of Castle Shannon Blvd, just past the Castle Shannon Post Office)
Columbia Gas working in the area of Grove Rd from now until late December/early January.
Columbia Gas has contracted work along McRoberts Road and Grove Road starting immediately and running through late December/early January.
While the Utility works on the gas lines parallel to the roadway, traffic may be reduced to alternating one lane of travel.
Please expect delays, be aware of the work zones and take appropriate cautions, which may include detours.
Castle Shannon Police officers and flaggers will be on hand as appropriate
Daylight Burglary on Poplar Ave 10-8-13
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a daylight burglary which occurred in the 3500 block of Poplar Ave on or about Monday October 7, 2013.
Actor(s) gained entry though an unlocked basement door and took tools and a small refrigerator. The actor(s) then went next door and stole tools from an unlocked storage shed.
It appears as though he/they were interrupted because the items were left in the back yards.
This is a reminder to lock your doors and windows even if you are away from home for a short time and even when you go to bed at night. Also lock garages and storage sheds to prevent crimes of opportunity.
If you saw anyone suspicious in the area of these crimes, please call police at 9-1-1.
ALWAYS report suspicious people, vehicles and activity right away to help us prevent crime.
Car Break-ins reported 8-30-13
CSPD is investigating car break ins and thefts from vehicles in the overnight hours on Prospect Ave, Blossom Hill Rd and Hoodridge Dr.
Please remove your valuables from your vehicle when you secure it, especially at night. Please lock your car, even if it is in your driveway.
Always call 9-1-1 to report suspicious vehicles, people, noises or circumstances.
URGENTECHELP Computer SCAM! 8-30-13
Twice within a week, Castle Shannon Police have taken reports from residents who report the following SCAM.
They receive an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. The caller tells the resident that their computer has been compromised/"hacked" and that they should go to a website and allow the caller access to their computer.
Both callers complied and watched as the actor manipulated computer settings on their PC, allegedly to "clean" the unit.
The callers were then billed for this "service". The bill shows up as a company called Urgentechelp. (Please Google the name for a history of fraud)
Microsoft does not monitor every computer, nor do they have the capacity to do so. This is a SCAM and beside the cost, allowing anyone access to your PC leaves you vulnerable to identity theft and unauthorized access to other personal information.
CSPD has consistently warned residents to be wary of unsolicited phone calls. if this happens to you, please hang up and/or call CSPD by dialing 911.
Raccoon/Rabies baiting to take place in and around Castle Shannon 8-4-13
The Allegheny County Health Department will be conducting raccoon vaccinations for rabies through bait starting the week of August 12.
The employees will be distributing fishmeal pellets by foot and vehicle.
Please keep pets on leashes or inside during the baiting time and for about a week afterwards to allow the raccoons a chance to eat the bait.
The bait poses no harm to pets or humans.
Brochures on Raccoons and Rabies are available in the police department lobby.
Daylight Burglary reported on Lindenwood Drive 7-25-13
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a report of a daylight Burglary which occurred on 7-24-13.
The actor(s) broke a window of a basement door to gain entry.
Please be alert for suspicious people, vehicles and/or circumstances and report same to Police by dialing 9-1-1.
Burglary reported on Boockstoce Ave (near Mt Lebanon Blvd) 7-22-13
Castle Shannon Police are investigating what appears to be a daylight Burglary which occurred on Bockstoce Ave on Friday 7-19-13 between 7a and 7pm.
The actor(s) gained entry thorugh a ground floor window and stole a laptop and some jewelry.
Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1.
Residents are reminded that most Burglaries occur during daylight hours when residents are at work.
Please always lock your doors and windows and report suspicious people, vehicles and circumstances to police by calling 9-1-1.
Allegheny County urges Special Precautions for Certain Groups Due to Forecasted Heat & Humidity 7-15-13
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 15, 2013 CONTACTS: Mark Bertolet (Human Services) 412-350-3439 firstname.lastname@example.org Margi Shrum (Human Services) 412-350-5482 email@example.com Dave Zazac (Health) 412-578-8004 firstname.lastname@example.org
County Announces Extended Hours at Six Senior Centers, Urges Special Precautions for Certain Groups Due to Forecasted Heat & Humidity
PITTSBURGH – The Allegheny County Department of Human Services Area Agency on Aging (AAA) announces that the following six senior centers will be open extended hours to provide refuge from the heat and humidity:
Center Location Telephone Hours Catholic Youth Assoc. Stephen Foster Community Center 286 Main Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201 412-621-3342 July 16 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Greenfield Healthy Active Aging Center 745 Greenfield Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 412-244-6551 July 15 & 16 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Homewood Healthy Active Aging Center 7321 Frankstown Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15208 412-244-4190 July 15 & 16 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh 5738 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15217 412-521-8010 July 15 & 16 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. South Side Market House Healthy Active Aging Center S. 12th & Bingham Streets Pittsburgh, PA 15203 412-488-8404 July 15 & 16 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Sheraden Healthy Active Aging Center 720 Sherwood Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15204 412-777-5012 July 15 & 16 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
All county residents ages 60 and older are also welcome to visit any of the county-funded senior centers during regular hours of operation to socialize and enjoy activities while taking refuge from the heat. For a list of all Allegheny County senior centers, visit www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/seniorcenters.aspx.
AAA also encourages everyone to be particularly mindful of seniors as the temperature rises. The agency and its contracted providers will maintain contact with frail, isolated and high-risk seniors who are registered for care management with AAA. Care managers will respond to emergency needs as they arise, making sure that seniors are safe and stable.
However, not all seniors are registered for care management with AAA. Therefore, neighbors, friends and relatives are asked to check on seniors during periods of high temperatures. The following tips are offered for those who plan to visit seniors:
• Offer a glass of water or a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage. Sit with them as they drink it. If plain water is boring, try one of the no-calorie fruit flavored waters. • Check for breathing difficulty or other signs of distress, such as swelling of the ankles or disorientation. Seek medical attention if needed, or call a medical professional for advice. • Check to see that window air conditioning units are operating and in good condition. If there is no air conditioning, make sure there is good cross-ventilation aided by fans. • Check that they are eating. If they are not due to lack of appetite, try offering light protein-laden foods, such as fully cooked eggs, cottage cheese or lentils.
If seniors resist visits, encourage them to agree to a few phone calls each day, but pay attention to whether they sound alert, and if they can tell you which medicines they have taken. If they are willing, invite them to stay with you for a few days until the difficult weather passes.
More tips for keeping cool are located on the Allegheny County Department of Human Services website at www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/cooling-tips.aspx.
Health Department Urges Special Precautions for Certain Risk Groups
The Allegheny County Health Department is warning that the heat and humidity forecasted for the next few days may pose serious health problems for the elderly, infants and children up to the age of four, as well as the overweight, people who work or exercise outdoors, and people with heart or respiratory problems.
Heat-related illness occurs when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating. However, sometimes this cooling mechanism breaks down, and body temperature rises rapidly, triggering heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt due to sweating. Warning signs include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting and fainting. If symptoms are severe, or the person has heart problems or high blood pressure, seek medical attention immediately. Otherwise, help the person cool off. Seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.
Heat stroke, a more serious and potentially life-threatening condition, occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature, and the sweating mechanism fails. Warning signs may include: extremely high body temperature (above 103° F); red, hot and dry skin, due to no sweating; rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea, confusion; and unconsciousness. Death or permanent disability may result without emergency treatment. Cool the victim rapidly by any means available until paramedics arrive.
Additionally, the following precautions are recommended to minimize the risk of heat-related illness:
• Stay cool indoors, preferably in an air-conditioned environment. Fans do not help much when temperatures are in the 90s. A cool bath or shower is a more effective way to cool off if you do not have air conditioning. Better yet, visit a place that has air conditioning, such as a senior center, theater, mall or neighbor’s house. • Drink plenty of fluids – at least eight cups a day - but not alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, which actually cause the body to lose more fluids. Avoid hot foods and heavy meals, which add heat to your body. • Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing. A wide-brimmed hat provides shade and helps keep the head cool. Sunscreen can prevent sunburn, which can affect your body’s ability to cool itself and also cause a loss of fluids. • Avoid strenuous physical activity, particularly during the hotter part of the day. • Never leave a child, or a pet, in a vehicle alone on a hot day. A child may become disoriented in just five minutes, unconscious in 10 minutes, and brain-damaged in 20 minutes. • Use the buddy system and check on the elderly and the infirm who do not have air conditioning and are less able to take care of themselves.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention have additional extreme heat safety tips and information at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat.
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PennDOT''s four-video series for pedestrian safety Jul 11, 2013
Castle Shannon Police seek Hit and Run Driver 6-28-13
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a Hit and Run Vehicle/Pedestrian Crash which occurred June 27, 2013 at 2320hrs on Rte 88 at Killarney Dr.
Witnesses reported that a white male in dark color SUV was traveling east on Killarney Dr when he made a left turn onto Library Rd (Rte 88),heading northbound toward Rte 51.
The 22 yr old female victim was walking with a male across the highway from Killarney toward Sixth Street (eastbound). Witnesses say that the pedestrians were in the crosswalk and crossing on a green signal.
As the SUV entered the northbound lane of Rte 88, the vehicle struck the female, dragging her for several yards. She was treated by Medics and transported to a local hospital with back and head injuries. Her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
The male driver stopped, had a conversation with the victim and her friend and indicated that he was going to move his vehicle off the roadway. He entered his vehicle and fled the scene.
The driver is described as a white male approximately 50-60 yrs old with gray hair and glasses.
**** The vehicle is described as a dark color SUV with possible plate characters of ZDT****.
Anyone who witnessed the accident and hasn’t spoken to police are asked to call 412.473.3056 and speak to Castle Shannon Police.
See the news story here: http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/police-search-hit-and-run-driver-after-accident-ca/nYYMm/
Residential Forced Entry Burglary on Hastie Rd 5-16-13
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a daylight Burglary which occurred on 5-16-13
The actor(s) forced entry through a side door and stole jewelry and cash.
This neighborhood is along the border with Bethel Park.
While the nice weather invites us outdoors to work on our yards and houses, it also provides many opportunties for criminals who can present as landscapers and other workmen.
Please report any suspicious activity, people or vehicles to 9-1-1 immediately. Also remember to lock your vehicles even while in the driveway and lock your residence doors and windows, even while working in the yard
Allegheny County Police are assisting with the investigation.
Please Buckle Up 5-14-13
Castle Shannon Police will be taking part of the Buckle Up PA Click it or Ticket Seat Belt Mobilization Effort from May 20, 2013 through June 9, 2013.
Unfortunately in 2012, Pennsylvania saw a decrease in overall seat belt use.
We will be joining over 600 PA Law Enforcement Agencies and the thousands of police departments across the country taking part in the mobilization.
The effort will focus on areas where seatbelt compliance has the best chance of being increased: Nighttime Drivers Occupants and Drivers under 18 Pickup Truck Drivers Roadways experiencing the highest numbers of unbuckled crashes/fatalities
Law Enforcement Agencies will take a ZERO TOLERANCE on all safety belt violations and conduct most of the enforcement at night.
Please take this reminder to Never drink and Drive. Never ride with a Drinking Driver, and Always Buckle Up!
Residential Burglary-Forced entry into vacant home on McRoberts Road 3-11-13
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a forced entry, residential Burglary in a vacant home along McRoberts Rd in the "Borough Building Neighborhood".
Some time between Friday March 8, and Monday March 11, 2013, person(s) unknown kicked open a rear door of a vacant home on McRoberts Rd.
The actor(s) cut copper pipe and wiring from the home.
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity, people or vehicles in the area in that time frame are asked to call Castle Shannon Police at 412.473.3056.
Man accused of breaking into tavern, opening beer tells officers, ‘I was thirsty’ 2-12-2013
Castle Shannon police arrested a burglary suspect Tuesday morning accused of breaking into a tavern and opening a cold beer.
According to police, officers were dispatched to the Castle Tavern on Library Road when the alarm went off just before 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Detectives who arrived at the tavern said they saw a broken window and a motion sensor had been activated in the dining room of the establishment.
Authorities said the officer set up a perimeter and after less than five minutes James Ohanlon, 54, emerged from the building and was immediately detained.
Officers located a metal bar inside the tavern that they said was apparently used to break the window and open a beer from the bar.
Bethel Park police say they nabbed the man who tried to rob the Sunoco on Route 19 at gunpoint right before Thanksgiving.
The detective on the case also believes the suspect is connected to the Subway robbery in Castle Shannon, along with robberies in Coraopolis, Bellevue and Ben Avon.
At this time, Dean Pletz, 44, of Bethel Park, is charged with one count of robbery and one count of persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms.
The Allegheny County District Attorney's office is expected to file more charges against Pletz.
During the attempted robbery investigation, information was received from other police agencies and video evidence generated Pletz as the suspect, according to the criminal complaint filed in district Judge Robert Wyda's office.
Pletz was brought to the Bethel Park Police Department for questioning on Nov. 29 after Mt. Lebanon police pulled over him and his Upper St. Clair girlfriend during a traffic stop.
The attempted robbery at the Sunoco on Route 19, located next to the Upper St. Clair border, happened on Nov. 21. The new employee couldn't get the cash register open, so the suspect did not get away with any cash.
Pletz verbally admitted to the Sunoco and Subway robberies, according to the detective. It remains unclear if he will be considered a suspect in the Bethel Park Dairy Queen robbery.
Pletz has been arrested and convicted of robbery in the past, according to the complaint.
Special Olympics 2102 Pittsburgh Polar Plunge December 2, 2012
Castle Shannon Police took part in the law Enforcement static display to support the Special Olympics at the 2102 Pittsburgh Polar Plunge at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
The Pittsburgh Polar Plunge is in its third year and has become "the event" to end the year with!
Last year, over 2,500 people came out, including over 1,200 plungers in our second year and raised a Special Olympics PA Polar Plunge fundraising record with nearly $300,000 for the athletes! We expect that through the generous support of our partners, supporters and most importantly, our PLUNGERS, the 2012 Pittsburgh Polar Plunge set state-wide records again with over 2,000 plungers (over 3000 total at the event) and shattering our plunge fundraising record from 2011!
Automated License Plate Readers Now Aiding Local Police November 21, 2012
These days, cameras are everywhere. They’ve been used inside police cruisers for years, but the newest ones are mounted outside.It’s called the Automated License Plate Reader System and several local departments are using them.
Castle Shannon Police just purchased their first unit, at a cost of $15,000. Many others acquired theirs with grant money. Three cameras mounted on the roof of a law enforcement vehicle can capture license plates of cars coming, going, even cars parked on the side of the street.
The computer instantly records the numbers and compares them to a database through a processor in the trunk, making it easier to track down stolen vehicles, violent criminals and even abducted children.
Castle Shannon Police Chief Ken Truver told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “Especially in an agency our size where we might have only two or three police officers out in the field at a time, this is just one more force multiplier, an extra set of eyes.”
As far as privacy for ordinary citizens, the chief said unless you’re a criminal, you don’t have to worry.
“They’re already restricted by law. There are administrative sanctions, criminal sanctions, if they do anything with the information they’re not supposed to, so those safeguards are already in place,” Chief Truver said.
Cab driver saves elderly Castle Shannon man from falling for con artist’s scam Nov. 13, 2012
A cab driver is being credited with saving an elderly man from falling for a con artist’s scheme.
According to Castle Shannon police, a caller tricked the 82-year-old man into believing he just won $5 million.
Investigators said the scheme told the man he needed to go to a Walmart as fast as he could to get a $500 gift card so he could win the $5 million.
“All the victim was told he had to do to claim the money was to go to Walmart, get a $500 gift card and call the number back,” Castle Shannon Police Chief Ken Truver said.
The victim told the caller that he didn’t have a form of transportation, so they called him a cab.
Dave Capizzi told Channel 11 News he showed up driving his yellow cab to pick up the man and he immediately sensed something was wrong.
“I just felt like he needed somebody who could help him understand what he was about to do wasn’t going to work,” Capizzi said.
Capizzi said he knew it was a scam as soon as the victim began telling him the details.
Investigators said his instincts were right and the scam was meant to eventually get the man’s bank account number.
“He was calmed down, but at one point I thought I was going to have to call 911 for him because he started shaking and breathing funny. I started rubbing his back to calm him down,” Capizzi said.
Police urge anyone who comes across an offer like this one that sounds far too good to be true, to alert authorities.
Arrests made in car vandalism incident and attempt burglary in Hamilton Park neighborhoods.
CSPD responded to 2 criminal incidents last night in the area of Hamilton Park neighborhoods.
2 Juveniles were seen attempting to Burglarize a house on Castle Rd.
In the same time frame 2 juveniles were seen causing damage to a vehicle on Blossom Hill Rd.
Through investigation, officers were able to identify and arrest a 14 yr old and a 17 yr old for both crimes. Because they are juveniles, the police department can release only general information.
While these crimes bear striking resemblance to other crimes recently reported in the Borough, we cannot conclude that these actor(s) are responsible for the other crimes.
The Police Department suggests that residents continue to dialogue through this media and with their neighbors and remain vigilant for suspicious activity.
Always call 9-1-1 to report suspicious people, vehicles, noises or activity for immediate police response.
Our anonymous web tips line sometimes receives information about suspicious activity in progress. This type of information should be directed to 9-1-1 to get a timely police response.
We appreciate your participation in this discussion and welcome your input.
Ken Truver, Chief of Police
Vacant Home Burglary 9-13-12
A vacant home under construction near the Castle Shannon Library was burglarized this week.
Actor(s) unknown gained access to the house with a master key used by Fannie Mae associates and stripped the entire structure of copper plumbing.
Anyone witnessing the theft or with possible information is asked to contact Castle Shannon Police at 412.473.3056
Castle Shannon Police launch pilot initiative of "Virtual" Crime Watch. 9-11-12
While CSPD continues to investigate the string of residential burglaries in the Borough, we continue to solicit help from the residents and business owners to report suspicious people, vehicles and activity, by calling 911 for immediate police response.
Additionally, we have launched a piolt program titled "Nextdoor".
There are five virtual crime watch neighborhoods set up in the Borough, where neighbors can converse with each other, and the Police Department will post updates about criminal activity and police events.
You can only join the neighborhood where you live and you must verify your address.
While these safeguards are designed to make the sites more secure, never divulge information on any website or web/cloud page, which you would not post in your front yard.
Please visit the attached links for the Nextdoor site in your area. Questions may be directed to the Police Chief at 412.885.9300 x110 or email@example.com.
Borough Building Area https://nextdoor.com/invite/1b28d1f5ff86ff9f6973
Hamilton Park Area https://nextdoor.com/invite/e6bb9f909343b4b7e658
Killarney to Sleepy Hollow https://nextdoor.com/invite/b8c45d42bbc2db77647a
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a daylight Burglary which occurred on May St Extension 8-29-12 between 1pm and 3pm.
Actor(s) entered the home through an unlocked basement sliding door.
At the time of the report nothing had been reported missing and it appears as though the actor(s) may have been frightened off by the homeowner's return.
Please continue to be vigilant, lock your doors and windows when leaving the home and before going to bed at night, and call 9-1-1 to report anything suspicious.
We welcome your calls for suspicious vehicles, people, or activity.
OVERNIGHT BURGLARS ARE STILL PROWLING CASTLE SHANNON BOROUGH 8-21-12
Castle Shannon Police continue to investigate overnight Burglaries and attempts in the area.
The latest attempt was reported last night.
The suspect(s) climbed on furniture to open a rear kitchen window. It is suspected they were frightened off by dogs in the home, because no entry was made.
Please continue to be vigilant, lock your doors and windows before retiring for the night, and call 9-1-1 to report suspicious people, vehicles, activity, or noises.
Another Overnight Burglary in an Occupied Residence 8-15-12
Castle Shannon Police are investigating another overnight Burglary in an occupied home. This incident occurred in the overnight hours on Sixth St, near the border with Whitehall Borough.
The actor(s) gained entry though an unlocked rear kitchen window and emptied a purse which was left on the kitchen table, taking cash.
Castle Shannon Police urge residents to lock doors and windows when leaving the house and when going to bed at night.
Anyone witnessing or hearing suspicious people, vehicles or activity should call 9-1-1 for immediate police response.
Allegheny County Police are assisting with the investigations.
CRIME ALERT- Residential Burglary (Forced Entry- Overnight in an occupied home)
Castle Shannon Police are investigating a residential Burglary in the North west section of the Borough, along the border with Baldwin Twp.
Entry appears to be through a cut screen window on a rear patio at ground level. Actor(s) entered an occupied home in the overnight hours and emptied purses to obtain cash.
This is the second Burglary in the general area in a week.
Residents are reminded to lock doors and windows when they are away from the home, and at night when they are asleep.
Additionally, motion sensors and outdoor lighting will add some protection in the evening.
Please call 9-1-1 if you see or hear any suspicious people, vehicles, or circumstances for immediate police response.
Allegheny County Police are assisting in the investigation.
Car Vandalism Continues in Castle Shannon and Surrounding South Hills Neighborhoods. (Police requesting assistance). 4-25-12
Castle Shannon Police continue to investigate multiple reports of car damage in the Borough. The incidents began over the weekend of April 13/14 when 10 cars were damaged by vandals driving around the South Hills, and throwing bottles and rocks at parked cars.
The latest incident occurred in the southwest corner of the Borough on Tuesday night April 24 around 930pm. Witnesses report that they heard glass break, but they failed to call 9-1-1.
There have been various witnesses to portions of the activities, as the incidents have occurred, but noone reported their observations until questioned by the police well after the criminal activity ceased.
Residents are asked to call 9-1-1 if they see or hear suspicious activity, persons, or vehicles. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
Craigslist Scams... They even hit here in Castle Shannon 4-19-12
This is a reprint of an article from The Tribune Review 4-19-12. They borrowed it and attributed it to the Los Angeles Times.
These scams have hit here recently and the "tips" apply to most unsolicited phone calls or emails as well...
Buying and selling on Internet classified sites such as Craigslist can be a great way to find a deal and make extra cash. But it can also expose you to a host of scams. Here are some tips to help keep you from being ripped off:
-- Meet the other party in person. By following this single rule, according to Craigslist, you will avoid 99 percent of attempted scams on the site. Any time the other party is unable or unwilling to meet face to face, it should be a huge red flag.
-- Never wire money to the other party. If you do make a deal with someone far away, don't pay through Western Union or a similar service. "Anyone who asks you to do so is a scammer," Craigslist warned.
-- Remember, Craigslist does not guarantee transactions, "certify" buyers or sellers or protect payments in any way. If someone says Craigslist will do so, they're probably trying to deceive you. Some scammers will send an official-looking email, appearing to come from Craigslist, saying that the site will guarantee the transaction. Don't believe it.
-- Watch out for overpayments. An all-too-common ruse is for sellers to be sent a "bank check" for more than the selling price, with a request for the balance to be returned. If this happens, you can be sure the check is a fake.
-- See things for yourself. Don't rent an apartment or house without viewing the inside, and don't buy something expensive without seeing it with your own eyes. If the other party balks, said Craigslist, "in all likelihood that housing unit is not actually for rent and that cheap item does not exist."
Vehicle Damage Incidents in Castle Shannon and Surrounding Communities 4-17-12
Castle Shannon Police are investigating 10 incidents of vehicle damage which occurred Friday evening April 13, 2012 through Saturday evening April 14, 2012.
Witnesses report that a small dark colored vehicle possibly occupied by two males drove through area neighborhoods, throwing glass bottles and rocks at parked cars.
Multiple windows were smashed and there was additonal resulting body damage to several vehicles.
Similar incidents have been reported in Baldwin Twp, Mt Lebanon, City of Pittsburgh and Dormont.
Any witnesses to the incidents or anyone with suspect information are asked to contact Castle Shannon Police.
Several Vehicles damaged on Prospect Ave. 3-16-12
Sometime between 3-12-12 and 3-13-12 someone scratched several vehicles parked on the street in the 1200 Block of Prospect Ave.
Anyone witnessing suspicious activity in that area in the described time frame are asked to contact Castle Shannon Police at 412.473.3056.
Anytime you see suspicious vehicles, person or activity, please call 911 to have a patrol car respond.
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!!
FEMA & FCC Unveil New Tip Sheet for Consumers on How to Prepare for Disasters 3-16-12
This fact sheet provides two important sets of tips. The first will help you prepare your home and mobile devices for a disaster. The second may help you communicate more effectively during and immediately after a disaster.
Before a Disaster: How to Prepare Your Home and Mobile Device
Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers in your cell phone and in or near your home phone. Keep charged batteries and car-phone chargers available for back-up power for your cell phone. If you have a traditional landline (non-broadband or VOIP) phone, keep at least one non-cordless phone in your home because if it will work even if you lose power. Prepare a family contact sheet. This should include at least one out-of-town contact that may be better able to reach family members in an emergency. Program "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have. If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home phone, forward your home phone number to your cell phone number. If you do not have a cell phone, keep a prepaid phone card to use if needed during or after a disaster. Have a battery-powered radio or television available (with spare batteries). Subscribe to text alert services from local or state governments to receive alerts in the event of a disaster. Parents should sign up for their school district emergency alert system. During and After a Disaster: How to Reach Friends, Loved Ones & Emergency Services
If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1. Remember that you cannot currently text 9-1-1. If you are not experiencing an emergency, do not call 9-1-1. If your area offers 3-1-1 service or another information system, call that number for non-emergencies. For non-emergency communications, use text messaging, e-mail, or social media instead of making voice calls on your cell phone to avoid tying up voice networks. Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion. You can also use social media to post your status to let family and friends know you are okay. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you can use resources such as the American Red Cross's Safe and Well program (www.redcross.org/safeandwell). Keep all phone calls brief. If you need to use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family. If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion. Conserve your cell phone battery by reducing the brightness of your screen, placing your phone in airplane mode, and closing apps you are not using that draw power, unless you need to use the phone. If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Just be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place (remove it from the garage) and do not go to your car until any danger has passed. You can also listen to your car radio for important news alerts. Tune into broadcast television and radio for important news alerts. If applicable, be sure that you know how to activate the closed captioning or video description on your television. If you do not have a hands-free device in your car, stop driving or pull over to the side of the road before making a call. Do not text on a cell phone, talk, or "tweet" without a hands free device while driving. Immediately following a disaster, resist using your mobile device to watch streaming videos, download music or videos, or play video games, all of which can add to network congestion. Limiting use of these services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to 9-1-1. Check www.ready.gov regularly to find other helpful tips for preparing for disasters and other emergencies.
SCAM ALERT!! (Social Security) 9-16-11
A Castle Shannon resident recently received a phone call from someone representing that they were from Social Security and had money to disburse. The caller requested the resident's banking information.
The following SCAM ALERT was sent out in 2004, but the rules for protecting your information are timeless. DO NOT release personal information, bank account information or other sensitive data to someone who calls you, no matter who they say they are!!
SOCIAL SECURITY News Release SOCIAL SECURITY RECIPIENTS WARNED ABOUT POTENTIAL SCAMS Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security and Patrick O’Carroll, Jr., Acting Inspector General of Social Security issued a warning today about a number of scams that have surfaced recently throughout the U.S. They noted that the Agency has received numerous reports about telephone calls or visits from people alleging to be Social Security employees. In each case, the person attempted to obtain personal information, such as a Social Security or bank account number, from the Social Security recipient.
“I find it very troubling that our most vulnerable citizens are being targeted by these unscrupulous people,” Commissioner Barnhart stated. “I caution everyone to be extremely careful about releasing personal information.”
The perpetrators, who identify themselves as Social Security employees, have used a variety of tactics to obtain personal information. In one instance, the caller said the Agency was experiencing a power outage and needed to verify the person’s information. In another, the caller posed as an employee who needed to verify the recipient’s direct deposit information.
In a third, the recipient is told their Social Security benefits are being cut because they have inherited a house from a relative; an event that would not result in a reduction of their Social Security benefit according to Commissioner Barnhart. To help perpetrate the fraud, the caller then places the recipient on hold and plays the same on-hold recordings used by Social Security. When the caller gets back on the line, the recipient is then told proceeds from the sale of the house will be sent to them if they pay the back taxes.
Acting Inspector General O’Carroll recommends people always take precautions when giving out personal information. “You should never provide your Social Security number or other personal information over the telephone unless you initiated the contact, or are confident of the person to whom you are speaking,” O’Carroll said. “If in doubt, do not release information without first verifying the validity of the call.” Barnhart and O’Carroll recommend contacting the local Social Security office or Social Security’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the legitimacy of the call. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call Social Security's TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)
Acting Inspector General O’Carroll notes that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is working closely with the Agency to investigate all reports of suspicious activity. To report suspicious activity, please call the OIG Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the OIG TTY number at 1-866-501-2101.) A Public Fraud Reporting form is also available online at OIG’s website: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/oig/.
STOPPING UNINTENTIONAL SHOOTINGS STARTS WITH GUN SAFETY EDUCATION
The Allegheny County Health Department is reminding County residents that unintentional firearm deaths, especially involving children, can be prevented by taking simple precautions.
Health officials offer the following tips to prevent gun injuries and deaths:
• Keep firearms out of children’s reach and in a locked cabinet, drawer or gun safe. Store keys and lock combinations separately and out of the reach of children.
• Use trigger locks and keep guns unloaded. Lock ammunition in a place separate from guns.
• Do not keep firearms in a home if someone has a history of depression or talks of suicide.
• Always assume that a gun is loaded. Be sure guns are unloaded when removed from storage.
• Take a gun safety course if you’re a gun owner. Children and guns are a dangerous combination. Everyone should teach children that if they find a gun they should stop, not touch it, leave the area and tell an adult where the gun is. This gun safety information is provided by the Allegheny County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
DEBT COLLECTOR SCAM 7-29-11
The latest in a long list of Scams being conducted via phone or mail in the Castle Shannon area is a DEBT COLLECTOR SCAM.
Victims of the Scam attempt report that an official sounding caller or recording calls their home number and instructs them to call a 1 800 number with a “claim” or “reference” number.
When the victim calls the number they are presented with identifying data to include phone number, address, social security number, etc… and told that the firm is trying to collect a debt.
Usually there is some threat of “charges” to be levied against the victim if payment is not made.
The scam is further described on an FBI website at: http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press- releases/paydayloanscam_120710
If you get a call of this nature hang up. Legitimate debt collectors must send you notification in writing outlining your responsibilities for collection and payment.
Complaints about this scam may be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at : http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
The Federal Trade Commission at: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/
and/or the PA Attorney General Consumer Complaints at: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/complaints.aspx?id=451
Additionally, victim of these fraud attempts should check and flag their credit history with the credit reporting agencies TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
Questions may be directed to your local police department CSPD 412.885.9300/412.473.3056
Latest SCAM! (Lernks Financial Services sends you a PNC check for $4500 in a bogus lottery winner scam) 7-11-11
CSPD has been working with local media to bring you the latest in an abundance of SCAMs in all sorts and sizes.
The latest one to hit the area is a letter postmarked Canada from Lernks Financial Services. The letter alleges that the recipient is a winner of $450,000 in a lottery. It also contains a check for $4500 on PNC stock supposedly issued in the name of Carnegie Library.
Our complainant believes he may have entered a sweepstakes on behalf of the library in recent months.
The letter instructs the recipient to call a phone number to "activate" the check. Our reporting person took the bank to PNC and learned it was fraudulent. He was then supposed to obtain $4100 in cash for someone to pick up on behalf of the lottery officials.
This notice should serve as yet another warning that you should be wary of anyone who calls you or sends you an unsolicited letter and/or check and asks for cash in return.
Also be on the watch for anyone who asks that you wire money for receipt of winnings, and any other contact where the promise of reward sounds too good to be true.
A wise person once told me if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably neither good nor true.
Castle Shannon Man Falls Victim To Mystery Shopping Scheme
June 17, 2011
Castle Shannon man lost $1,400 in a mystery shopping scheme.
Mike Black said he's unemployed and was hoping to make some fast and easy cash by answering an email to become a mystery shopper.
Black said after responding to the email and agreeing to shop at Walmart, he was sent a check.
"After I was done buying the stuff I was to evaluate the store. How clean the store was, how friendly the customer service was. I was to evaluate just about every aspect you can think of," Black said. "When they sent me the check everything looked legit"
The check was issued for $1,850, Black said. He said he was instructed to send back $1,400 within 48 hours to make $450 for a 20 minute shopping trip.
But the check eventually bounced and Black said he wound up losing $1,400.
"Until I get this paid off I can't have a bank account," Black said.
Castle Shannon police said they have opened an investigation and issued a warning to all residents.
"If somebody wants you to send them a check, that should throw up the red flag. That is probably not a legitimate business," said Chief Ken Truver.
Castle Shannon police said they are working with U.S. Postal Service investigators in an attempt to make an arrest.
Castle Shannon Police report two recent incidents of the so called “Grandparent Scam”
On 5-6-11 at 1055am a 78 year old female resident reported an attempted phone fraud. She relayed that a young male caller phoned her and said’ “Grandma, it’s me and I’m in Spain for a wedding.” The suspect went on to say that he was involved in a car accident and needed $2800 for bail money. When the targeted victim explained that she didn’t have that kind of money in the house, the caller hung up. The woman immediately called her 19 year old grandson and found out that he was home in Greentree.
On 5-12-11 at 305pm an 89 year old male resident reported a similar occurrence with a different twist. He said that he was contacted by a man alleging to be an attorney from New York. This suspect said that the targeted victim’s grandson was involved in an accident and needed $945 for fine money. The suspect said that the grandson was intoxicated and had a blood alcohol of .9 and that if the money was received immediately, the grandson could avoid a criminal record. The suspect instructed the victim to wire the money via Western Union to New York with instructions to allow the retrieval without identification. (because the grandson’s ID reportedly was confiscated). The victim found this to be suspicious and asked the suspect for a phone number where he could call back. The suspect said he would call again later, as he was in court.
These incidents are a continuation and variation on a scheme which has been ongoing for years. Castle Shannon Police has the information posted on our website at www.csboro.com. In September 2010 residents/victims of this scheme lost over $5500 when they were convinced to send 2 separate money transfers to an address in Spain because they thought their grandson had been arrested in Canada. In that incident, the victims received calls from a male they thought was their grandson and a male posing as a police officer.
A simple Google search for the words “Grandparent Scam” will reveal that the activity is prevalent in several states. Several Attorney General and Consumer Protection websites offer simple advice to avoid being victimized by these and other fraud attempts.
• If you receive an emergency call asking for money, always check with another family member to verify if your loved one really is in trouble and needs help. • Take the time now to talk with your family about this and other scams. • Make it a policy never to wire money without being sure the story being told is true. • If there is ever any doubt about suspicious phone calls or activity call your local police department to assist you in assessing the situation BEFORE you wire money anywhere. (Once the money transfer is complete, you can rarely get your money back)
iPhone App Leads To Police Impersonation Charges 3-19-11
Publisher''s Clearinghouse SCAM ALERT 12-13-10
Castle Shannon Residents continue to report phone calls from callers identifying themselves as representatives of Publisher's Clearinghouse, announcing that the resident is a "winner" of a substantial amount of money.
The caller goes on to explain that in order to "process" the award, the resident must send money (usually several hundred dollars) to a provided address.
Residents are reminded that calls of this type are common fraud attempts and that no legitimate award requires you to send cash to receive a prize.
Castle Shannon Police report another incident involving the so-called “Grandparent Scam” Ongoing
Castle Shannon Police report another incident involving the so-called “Grandparent Scam”
This fraud has been reported on our website http://www.csboro.com/police-message-03-10.asp
A male caller reported to be in his late teens/early 20s called our victim and stated, “ Grandma it’s me.”
The victim wasn’t sure who it was , but eventually guessed the name of one of her grandchildren.
The suspect/actor then assumed that identity and said he was in trouble. He provided a story that he was arrested in Canada and needed bail money.
The caller begged the victim not to contact his “parents” and asked that $5500 be wired to him.
Unfortunately, the victim wired the money in 2 separate transactions on 9-9-10.
The intricate story included a reported call from a “Police Sergeant” which added the appearance of authenticity.
Today, when the victims didn’t hear from their grandchild, they called the number back for the police (which is more than likely a disposable cell phone) and were asked to wire more money for attorney’s fees.
The scam was only uncovered by an alert store clerk who refused to process the additional victim’s wire transfer
The investigation will be referred to the PA Attorney General and the US Postal Inspector, but these cases are inherently hard to track because the perpetrators work from out of the Country.
Residents are again warned about Property Tax Rebate Assistance. Ongoing
Residents are again warned about Property Tax Rebate Assistance. By: kmt
Attorney General Corbett warns seniors to be cautious of fee-based rebate assistance mailings HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett urged Pennsylvania seniors to be wary of mailings and other unsolicited offers that attempt to charge consumers a fee for information about Pennsylvania's property tax rebate program. "Pennsylvania seniors are NOT required to pay a fee to apply for the state's property tax and rent rebates program," Corbett said. "Rebate forms and instructions are available free-of-charge and can be easily obtained from the Department of Revenue, as well as Area Agency on Aging offices and the offices of many state legislators." Corbett said that homeowners across the state have reported recent mailings that ask seniors to complete an information form and return it with a payment in order to receive assistance in filing a property tax or rent rebate claim. He noted that the letters do not disclose that seniors can apply for rebates directly with the Commonwealth for free, or that forms and assistance are readily available. "Consumers should be on the alert for questionable offers that attempt to capitalize on programs intended to provide much-needed financial relief to older Pennsylvanians," Corbett said. "We encourage consumers to avoid unsolicited offers that ask for payment in return for assistance obtaining government funds and urge all consumers to check directly with official agencies to determine if applications or other information can be obtained free-of-charge." Corbett noted that Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older who meet certain income requirements. The deadline for Pennsylvanians seeking a rebate for property taxes or rent paid in 2009 is June 30, 2010. Forms and instructions are available online from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and consumers with questions may call the Department at 1-888-222-9190 for assistance. Consumers with questions or concerns about suspicious mailings or offers can contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555.
Police Receive High-Powered Rifles 12-5-09
Using the new Crime Reports Mapping 3-8-12
Please visit the link to CrimeReports on our webpage and navigate through the various tools available. There are fields available to add email addresses for daily alerts, blogs, facebook contacts, and additional methods to receive information relative to crime and police activity in Castle Shannon. The site subscriptions are FREE to residents, and proprietary police information is kept secure by parameters set in our agreement with the vendor.
In order to view the most comprehensive list of crimes, click on the bar for "Crime Types" and when the dialogue box opens, click on the "Show All" bar and then choose "Done".
On the "Calendar" Bar you can choose your time parameters, such as 3,7,14,30 days or a window of time "from/to".