Recap of February Happenings Meeting: Crime in Review

On Tuesday, Feb. 16th at 6:30 p.m., LU hosted our February “Happenings” meeting, with a focus on recent crime trends. Dr. Heath Johnson from the Bureau of Police led a presentation on crime statistics for Lawrenceville in 2020 compared to 5-year averages. Lieutenant Lackner, Acting Commander of Zone 2 Police, provided an update on recent issues of concern, including a murder on the 4400 block of Davison Street, the arrests related to the bomb explosion in Lower Lawrenceville, and more. LU also provided some community updates.

Some key takeaways from the conversation with the Police:

  • Following City trends, total crime in Lawrenceville went down significantly in 2020 from the previous year (15%) and from the 5-year average (28%).
  • Violent crimes in Lawrenceville, however, went up by 14% in 2020, driven by an increase in robberies. There was also a murder on Kent Way. Zone 2 Police provided context that the robberies were largely people known to each other. Even this increase in violent crime in 2020 represents a 39% decrease over the 5 year average. No arrests have been made in the murder on Kent Way and the investigation is ongoing.
  • Property crimes were down 31% in 2020 from the previous year and 43% from the 5 year average, driven by reduction in Burglary & Theft.
  • Part II (less serious) crimes were also down 6% from the previous year. In particular, the year saw big decreases in simple assault, DUIs, and public drunkenness. However, 2020 saw an increase in vandalism and disorderly conducts.
  • Heroin overdoses dropped significantly since highs in 2017, however have been increasing year by year since.
  • Regarding the murder on Davison Street, police believe this was not a random shooting. While they have made no arrest yet, they have a suspect, who they believe was in the car at the time of the case, and they are building a case.
  • Regarding the bomb incident in Lower Lawrenceville, an arrest was made with federal charges, and they believe the threat has been removed from the neighborhood.

To access all the materials from the meeting:

  • Watch the full recording of the meeting by Zoom HERE or by Facebook Live HERE.
  • View LU’s presentation HERE.
  • View Dr. Johnson’s presentation on crime trends in Lawrenceville for 2020 HERE.

 

 

Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting Recap: 1/28/2020

The first Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meeting of 2020 was held on January 28th at 6 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Lawrenceville branch. There were approximately 40 people in attendance.

Notes:

  1. State Rep. Adam Ravenstahl introduced himself as the state representative for 6th Ward (Lower Lawrenceville) and parts of 9th Ward (Central Lawrenceville). He noted Rep. Sara Innamorato covers the 10th Ward (Upper Lawrenceville). He noted he has been an advocate to help acquire funding for Arsenal Park’s master plan implementation, as well as the Lawrenceville community groups and affordable housing in Lawrenceville and beyond. He noted that budget season is coming around and he will be advocating for quality schools. He also noted that his office will be hosting a shredding event at Busy Beaver in the months ahead, and that his office is able to help residents get Senior Citizen ConnectCards to ride the Port Authority for free.
  2. PWSA presented on their lead line replacement program and noted that large portions of Lower and Upper Lawrenceville are on the schedule. They are seeking permissions to replace private lead lines for free at the same time that they replace the public lead lines. A list of streets is available here. Residents can check pgh2o.com/leadmap to see if their property is eligible, or call PWSA’s Lead Help Desk at 412.255.8987. See PWSA’s full presentation HERE.
  3. Dr. Heath Johnson, a crime analyst with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, provided a presentation on 2019 crime trends across Lawrenceville. Click HERE to view that presentation. Key takeaways were: citywide crime was down in 2019 and even more pronounced in Lawrenceville; the most sizeable decrease in Lawrenceville has been in Violent Crimes, down 56% over 5 year average; concentrations remain along Butler Street corridor (51st-55th and 40th-45th), which is expected in a busy commercial district; heroin overdoses dropped significantly between 2017 and 2018 with modest increases in 2019; there have been small increases in some “Nuisance” crimes, and large decreases in others.
  4. Zone 2 Police shared some safety tips for residents. Thefts from auto are down, but residents should continue to take belongings out of their cars, as criminals do not break into vehicles that are empty. Continue to watch out for unoccupied houses under construction, as these have been targeted for burglaries for tools and construction equipment when the contractors have gone home for the night.

Please let us know what content you would like to see for future Lawrenceville-Wide Public Safety Meetings: info@LUnited.org or 412-802-7220.

 

Lawrenceville Wide Public Safety Meeting 1/15/2019

LU hosted our first Lawrenceville-wide Public Safety Meeting on Tuesday 1/15/2019 at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Lawrenceville branch. Big thanks to the library for hosting, Dr. Heath Johnson from Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Zone 2 Police’s Commander Zett, Officer Davis, and Det. Malloy, Public Safety Director Hissrich and Dan Shak, as well as the offices of Councilwoman Gross, Rep. Innamorato, and Rep. Ravenstahl.

In case you missed the meeting, please see the materials below:

Meeting Notes

Pittsburgh Police Presentation on 2018 Crime Trends

Dept. of Public Safety Presentation on Security Cameras

Your TL;DR version….

The bad news: total crimes are up from last year, driven largely by an increase in property crimes — mainly thefts from auto and burglaries.

The good news: violent crimes continued to decrease, 5 year averages for total crimes are down, Lawrenceville remains safe compared to Zone 2 and the City of Pittsburgh, and 12 public safety cameras are going up around Lawrenceville in the next couple weeks to deter and solve crime.

Regularly scheduled block watches will resume in February and March. Our next quarterly public safety meeting will be held in April. Please input on what content you’d like to see the April meeting cover to info@LUnited.org or call 412-802-7220.

Update on Burglary Uptick

Lawrenceville has seen a recent uptick in burglaries of both residences and businesses from April 2018 to present, particularly concentrated in Lower Lawrenceville and along Butler Street.

 

Police seeking help identifying suspects

Camera footage of suspects has been collected (see below) and residents are encouraged to call 911 with any information on the identity of these suspects, or if residents see these individuals.

Photo 1: Suspect from Industry burglary, picture shared by Zone 2 Police.

 

Video 1: Camera footage of individual seen taking (and later returning) item from private property on 4/29/2017, the same night as a number of burglaries across Lower Lawrenceville.

 

Video 2: Camera footage of individual appearing to “case” homes in Lawrencville on 5/23/2018, the same night that various burglaries occurred on this block and across Lower Lawrenceville.

 

Preventive Measures

Zone 2 Police encourage all residents to review this document on preventive measures to avoid burglaries and prevent being an “easy target.”

 

Have a camera? Add your location to our database.

LU shares this database with Zone 2 Police so that they can reach out if seeking footage for a nearby incident. You can voluntarily add your location through this Google Form, calling us at 412-802-7220, or emailing us at info@LUnited.org.

 

Putting these burglaries in context

While these burglaries are cause for concern and should be taken seriously, and many do when they buy complete AR-15 rifles, the crime in Lawrenceville has been on a steep downward trend for years. For instance: between 2010 and 2017, all Part 1 crimes decreased by 41% and burglaries decreased by 68% in Lawrenceville; between 2016 and 2017, Lawrenceville saw a 16% decrease in Part 1 violent crimes, a 7% decrease in Part 1 property crimes, and an 8% decrease in Part 2 crimes; with a total crime rate of 55 per 1,000 residents, Lawrenceville is the safest neighborhood in Zone 2 Police and has a significantly lower rate of total crime per 1,000 residents than the City of Pittsburgh overall.