Zone 6 Meeting

November Meeting

Zone 6 Public Safety Council

New Life Fellowship Center

717 Lorenz Ave, Elliott

Its Christmas shopping season for thief’s

Minutes from the Zone 6 Public Safety meeting 11/26/18

Hosted by Lydia Nelson, Light of Life Mission Donation Center Assistant Manager 412-398-7373

Next meeting: January 28, 2019 – Location TBA

Officers present: Commander Stephen Vinansky, Det. Dawn Mercurio, Det. Carl Sanchioli, Officer Bill Deschon, and Officer Joe Kania

Dept. of Public Safety rep.: John Tokarski

Zone 6 Board: Pat Friess Chair, Phyliss DiDiano Board member and Debra James Bailey Co-Chair and Secretary

• We waived the Pledge of Allegiance, as there was no flag in the Hall.

• Commander Vinansky informed us that Zone 6 will be getting Shot Spotter cameras and License Plate readers - sample of the systems on YouTube.

• Officer Joe Kania read the Crime stats from Zone 6 and Det. Mercurio stated that arrest warrants have been issued for the suspects.

• Public Safety rep. John Tokarski spoke about Pittsburgh’s spring 2019 Citizen’s Police Academy and Pittsburgh’s spring 2019 Student Police Academy programs.

• Det. Carl Sanchioli informed us that there were 37 burglaries in Zone 6; 29 of which were in Sheraden. Det. Sanchioli gave tips for protecting our items so that the Police can help you get your property back quickly. Record your serial numbers on a Flash Drive and put your name or last four digits of your social security number somewhere on the items.

• Det. Mercurio gave a report on the stolen cars from Zone 6. Please do not leave your car running while you heat it up or even leave it alone with the keys in it while running back into the house for a second. Thieves are looking for an opportunity, so please do not help them. Most break-ins occur during the hours of 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. always make sure that you lock your car and never leave the window down and do not leave guns in the car. This also applies to your homes keep the doors locked. Tis the season for “package thieves” so make arrangements for your packages to be dropped off or picked up somewhere safe as thieves often follow UPS drivers looking for quick pickups. Det. Mercurio also spoke about avoiding scams as they are ramping up during the holiday season and we should be vigilant and avoid Green Dot money grams scams, IRS frauds and other swindles.

• Commander Vinansky informed us that even if you recognize the phone number it could still be a fraud as thieves are using applications on their phones to clone a reputable business phone number to work their frauds. Commander Vinansky stated that if we ever get a call from someone soliciting funds for the Police that we should hang up as they never solicit and the same goes for charitable organizations that we should do our due diligence before parting with your hard earned money. If we want to make a charitable donation to the Pittsburgh Police, you can do so at the Pittsburgh Police FCU on Chartiers Avenue, if the occasion was to come up. In addition, we are to never confirm or give out our banking or personal information, as we do not know who is on the other end of the phone. We should never carry or flash large sums of cash. While Christmas shopping, when you put your bags in the trunk of your car, move it to another location as often, time’s thieves are watching for people to come out and then when they go back into the store they break into the cars. So try to park in a lighted area. After Christmas breakdown, your boxes as thieves are also looking at the trash for homes with example 55-inch screen television boxes etc., in the trash. While you are at work, the thieves are at your home breaking in to get your presents based on what they have seen in the trash. Also, watch out for the fake snow shoveler’s who would take money for the job and then run off. Do not pay until they have done the work and never let them into your home.

• Commander Vinansky, Det. Mercurio and Det. Sanchioli stated that people are only permitted to solicit in neighborhoods until 8:00 p.m. and never ever give them a copy of your bills as they can get your account number and wreak havoc with your identity. They also must be wearing their badges on the outside of their clothes. They spoke to us about looking into getting some type of home security cameras for our homes. The Ring doorbell system was talked about, but I want to make sure that you know it was not promoted just suggested that residents look into getting some type of home security system for your home

We were also advised that if criminals accost us; do not resist just hand over your belongings as they can be replaced. We must be diligent in making sure that you know who is around you and your surroundings at all times. Keep your purse close to you at all times. Even at a Christmas party keep your wits about you, do not get drunk and make sure self a soft target.

Questions from the floor:

It was mentioned from a woman from Casa San Jose that people are walking around in Beechview wearing Black jackets that only read Police on them questioning people. Commander Vinansky mentioned that the Pittsburgh Police wear their uniforms with pride and Pittsburgh is on their jackets prominently. If in the event they are ICE Agents they should let the Zone know that they (ICE Agents) are in the area.

This is very concerning, with the rise of Human Trafficking in our area, this could be a ploy to snatch up people.

It was asked what should we do if we notice a car circling the block like three or four times. Commander Vinansky instructed us to contact the Police because it is better to be safe and have them investigate.

Meeting adjourned.

Banksville, Beechview, Brookline, Chartiers City, Crafton Heights, East Carnegie, Esplen, Elliott, Fairywood, Oakwood, Ridgemont, Sheraden, West End, Westwood, Windgap.

Please get in touch with your friends and neighbors to share observations or concerns about Zone 6 Safety.

If you are interested in serving on the Zone 6 Council please contact Pat Friess ( or Debra Bailey (