For the 23rd time, burglars break into Oakland home

After a burglar broke into their house in the 3400 block of Ward Street on Halloween, Jacky Chen and his five roommates made a house rule to lock their door at all times, even if another roommate was home.

But several of the roommates forgot to lock the door on their way to a track workout with the Ultimate Frisbee team Dec. 1. Chen, the only roommate home at the time, didn’t check the lock when they left, and the house was broken into a second time.

Chen, a senior exercise science major, went from the living room to his third floor bedroom to get some work done when he heard  rustling downstairs at about 11 p.m. He assumed it was one of his roommates, but later, when his roommates came home from track practice, he realized it was an intruder.

While Chen was in his bedroom, the burglar entered the home and took multiple items, including an iPad, Wii and Xbox.

“I was in disbelief, because I was home at the time and thought [my roommates] were kidding,” Chen said.

Their Ward Street home was one of three burglarized in the past week, bringing the total number of Oakland burglaries to 23 this semester.

Of the 23 burglaries, 21 have occurred since Oct. 9, and the incidents have not stopped despite increased Pitt police patrols in Oakland. University spokespeople advised students to lock their doors and windows and be vigilant of suspicious activity.

“University police are working with the city of Pittsburgh police to thoroughly investigate each incident and are devoting a considerable amount of effort to apprehend the person or people responsible,” Pitt spokesperson Joe Miksch told The Pitt News in November.

According to the crime alert, no one was injured in the burglaries this weekend, and police do not think the crimes are related.  

The other two burglaries occurred on the 3700 block of Parkview Avenue and the 300 block of Meyran Avenue.

The Parkview burglary occurred Dec. 1, between 8:30 a.m. and noon. The suspect broke the rear window and entered the house. No injuries were reported and multiple items were reported missing. The victim was not home at the time.

The Meyran burglary occurred between Dec. 1, between 10 p.m. and midnight. According to the crime alert, the residents noticed when they returned home that multiple items from their home were missing, as was one of the resident’s vehicles. No forced entry was reported.

According to the Pitt police crime log, there was also an armed robbery Nov. 28, on Bayard and Craig streets. This incident is not included in the number of burglaries for the semester, because a burglary indicates theft of items without the use of intimidation or force, while a robbery indicates theft through intimidation or force. There was no crime alert listed for the Nov. 28 robbery.

Police have not clarified the where and when patrols have increased in the area, and only one burglary has included a specific description of a suspect.

“After [we were robbed], I was really scared and was questioning if the place we were living at was safe, because it’s the second time that it’s happened,” Chen said. “I didn’t think we would get robbed again, but we messed up and didn’t lock the door and paid the consequences.”

The police departments are asking that anyone with information regarding the incidents call the Pittsburgh Police Department at 412-422-6520 or Pitt police at 412-624-2121.

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