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McKEES ROCKS | Break-in gives rise to security measures

By Elizabeth Perry

A recent theft from the McKees Rocks Street Department has the borough adopting stricter security measures.

The McKees Rocks Street Department garage on Robb Street was broken into on May 24 and the thief made off with a $90,000 truck along with $30,000 worth of equipment, such as weed whackers, leaf blowers and other tools.

“That day was a nightmare for everyone involved,” Borough Manager LeeAnn Wozniak said.

Code Enforcement Officer Bobby Thompson Jr. was particularly affected – Wozniak said the theft was “ripping his heart out.”

Thompson explained that he was the foreman for the Public Works crew for four years and worked there a total of nine, so the robbery hit him particularly hard.

Police estimate the suspected burglar could have been in the building for more than two hours moving equipment out.

“He could of ran in there and baked a cake,” Thompson said.

At 8 a.m. police found the missing truck abandoned on top of Church Hill Street and Frederick Street, Chief Rick Deliman said. The truck, which Thompson said is the newest in the borough’s fleet and is used to plow snow, suffered minimal damage.

Police found a pile of weed whackers hidden in the backyard of Michael Wayne Arlott’s residence on Shingiss Street. More items were found secreted in the yards of neighboring abandoned houses.

“Pretty much everything” was recovered, Wozniak said.

Deliman said the Allegheny County Police Department-General Investigation was called in to investigate.

Arlott was arrested on June 2 and charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property among other charges, according to court records. He has posted bail and the next action in the case is a preliminary hearing scheduled for early August.

“That day made us all think we need security down here, too,” Wozniak said. “It was a roller coaster of a ride.”

Borough council members are looking into security for the area. Wozniak is seeking quotes from three companies to install surveillance cameras around the Robb Street Garage.

“I’m surprised it took this long to happen,” Thompson said.



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