Well executed and planned Bank Robbery in Burgettstown was like a made for TV movie still unsolved to this day

If you ever saw the  Clint Eastwood movie Thunderbolt & Light Foot
it is about  a group  of criminals planing and executing a big bank robbery  by way of a home invasion to tie up the bank president so he can not notify police and distracting and then tieing up the guy monitoring the alarms at a central monitoring station as well.

Well a very similar plot played on in spring of 1986 in Burgettstown. except with an interesting twist.

An elderly couple who happen to monitor panic buttons etc for the Mellon bank in their home also happen to be the radio dispatchers for the Burgettstown  and several other small town Police  are invaded and tied up and then the Mellon bank in Burgettstown is sacked and thieves and money is gone never to be traced a total cold case. In what the time was a very rural area till it started being developed in 90's.

So the question who pulled it off obliviously some one had to know the couple where doing the monitoring 
so was it a town resident involved? or town resident who may have been arrested and talked about how easy the pickings would be while in prison? 
How about the people who serviced the radios or the alarms ? Or could it even have been a well organised nationally travelling ring of criminals who looked for these opportunity's ?

Of course the first question is why where this elderly couple doing dispatching and monitoring alarms in there home in the first place?
Well before massive UL Listed Central Stations with fortifications and security systems in place where popular many unusual places served and still serve  as monitoring points including Telephone  Answering Services and even Gas Stations  out west .
 Most very soft targets and criminals knew it and took advantage of it and these crimes where carefully kept from the press and TV  when they where attacked. When I first was involved with alarms and had other dealers monitoring my accounts I thought they had hardened facility's they did not they where using answering services with no protection needless to say I found out  how easy it was to just walk in and take a place over and now use a very good UL listed service 
Today attacking a Central station is futile with back up systems in place and fully supervised communications and alternative central station set  ups at the flip of a switch . But there are still plenty of the small soft targets out there if you know where to look. But criminals have gotten much more sophisticated when it comes to eluding capture and why risk getting your plan blown when dealing with 2 sites when you can hit one be on an interstate in 5 minutes and be gone. 
Some one some where knows what went on in Burgettsown that day and some one may eventually pay for the crime but the clock is ticking away.

Unsolved industrial Park Arson in Turtle Creek was it part of plan to get rich when Mon Valley Expressway came thru?

It was 1995 and there where two visions one a family's quest to to turn a former Copper Mill in Turtle Creek into a small viable industrial park the other the Pa. Turnpike Commission  completing of the Mon Valley Expressway both seen  as a means to create and keep jobs in a valley decimated when Westinghouse and steel mills closed .
Both dreams dashed one by an Arson Fire  the other by lack of funds  with possibility one may some day be completed.


Remains of old Copper mill

Yes in 1995 the Mon Valley expressway- MVE was in full swing as property was being acquired and cement was being laid in Fayette and Washington county's. the ambitious project to have a continuous toll road from I-68 near Morgantown W.Va. to Pittsburgh thru the Mon Valley  would bring jobs and industry .
Unfortunately  it has only been fully built to Elizabeth just over Allegheny County line  but at the time there was a proposal to extend it from near the Squirrel Hill Tunnels in Pittsburgh I-376  to Penn Hills by way of a spur which would go thru Braddock and up thru East Pittsburgh and Turtle Creek. Yes right thru where the old Westinghouse Copper Mill was located.
MVE Gateway 

 And every where the proposed route was going there where Arson Fires especially in Hazel Wood section of Pittsburgh, plus Braddock and Duquesne and in Duquesne there was also talk of expanding Kennywood with a water park and a new development in Cochratowne section of Duquesne  both of which have not been done .
 Just as soon as it was announced the Turnpike had run out of funds and MVE was on indefinite hold the fires almost all stopped as well.
So you can see why it is so suspicious the fire at the copper mill may well have been something to do with the MVE being built  what better way to run down property values and get property owners to sell quickly and get out of a bad area. Have some shill buyers buy up the property's and then thru a series of  shell company's sell it all at a handsome price  to the turnpike commission .
But all the fire accomplish was destroy a valley and business around it   like in the picture below where a hotel/bar once sat on now vacant lot. the whole neighborhood now a slum when it would have been very viable had the Arson Fire not occurred.
I saw video of the fie during an Arson investigators class taught by the late Larry Boyle and like Larry said some one knows and sooner or later is going to brag about it and some one snitch on them. and hopefully those behind these development by Arson fires all around western Pa. will be held accountable as it goes on all the time .

No such thing as a Coincidence


There is a valley in the City of Pittsburgh Pa. Which Pa. Route 51 runs thru other wise known as Sawmill Run Blvd. Pa. 51 runs from the Ohio Line near E. Palestine South to Union Town approx 100 miles
But I call it Arson Valley since I was a small child in the 60’s there has been many major arson and suspicious fires all along the approx 10-mile stretch of Pa.51, which runs thru the city
From the West End Bridge to Brentwood Pa. So many fires in such a small area I call it arson valley.
One of the first fires I remember was a Bar at the corner of Edge Brooke Rd. and 51 in the 60’s now a big parking lot. Another big fire was in a very large bar and a restaurant replaced nightclub at Bausmann and 51which
Tambellinis which it self had a fire and was destroyed on southern Ave. which connects to 51 from Warrington Ave.
Southern Ave was also the scene of many bad residential fires 10 family members lost their lives in a fire
And off of Bausmann Ave. runs Knox Ave., which also saw a fire, which claimed a family of 10 including children.
The Motor Cycle business still at its same location 1 block from Bausmann saw a fire, as did the thrift store
Liberty tunnels almost all buildings around tunnel entrance suffered a fire

Directly across from bausmann.
1 block down from Bausmann you have the Liberty tubes and bridge. Businesses on all 4 corners suffered suspicious or arson fires. The happy dragon restaurant and 2 Syrian restaurants. The long abandoned
Lumber yard burned and an arson fire. W. Liberty ave has been the scene of numerous Suspicious and arson fires as well The liberty tube business are all gone having been replaced by a new cloverleaf to eliminate traffic back ups.
Down the road from the tunnels. A hillside full of businesses has also seen fires. Including the old Mays dept store warehouse and Seco Manufacturing now closed. And fires back in a little community called seldom scene because t is totally boxed in. the community no longer exists a now extinct transit project came thru and was never completed.
And starting in the West End there have been numerous arson fires and a fire bombing during the 60’s riots
Going the other direction past Bausmann and Liberty there have again been numerous fires.
The old Country Belle Dairy arson, Ronnie’s Tire a fire destroyed the business possibly electrical in nature which also seems to happen a lot in this valley across from Ronnie’s, Sunset auto destroyed by fire when a car caught fire .All with in a block of the bar which caught fire. Directly beside The old country bell dairy
Sat a big old dive of a bar called the barn again destroyed by arson a convenience store sits in the location.
One time in the late 80’s while driving home from work late at night I saw what looked like a storm sewer on fire in the street directly across from the motorcycle shop that had the fire. I stopped and called the fire dept from a payphone up the street and when they arrived to investigate I showed them which grate and we found remnants of a large beer bottle which had been used as a Molotov cocktail and was apparently meant for a business but as I came up the road my lights must have spooked them.
I never received a follow up, call, which is typical in Pittsburgh.
There have been numerous fires with cars in auto repair garages along 51
One business had 2 fires each time a different owner. And Brentwood has seen its share of fires as well along 51 Versharins a large grocery burned to the ground as well as its old green houses in Mt Oliver, which is located along Bausmann. All along 51 you will find boarded up closed business most owned by a pair of brothers who deliberately keep them slummy and whom Brentwood is always fighting with to clean up businesses move in and out frequently as the owners jack up rates continuously and make no repairs.
But Brentwood as well as no other community along 51 has anywhere near the amount of fires the city of Pittsburgh has had along this particular stretch. Some communities Like McKee’s Rocks and Aliquippa 
Have had a small rash of fires along 51 in fact I know of no other stretch of road with such a deadly legacy of fires aprox.170+ fires over 40 years
So who is responsible? One theory is real estate speculators. 51 is only 2 lanes each direction and needs to be expanded as well the creek running thru the area needs scooped out and covered. Buy the property cheap after a fire has whipped out an owner with no insurance and when the state or transit agency comes thru big profits after waiting 20-30 years.
And with the liberty tubes cloverleaf project some people saw big profits as the cloverleaf was planned in the 30’s but not put into place till the 90’s people knew sooner or later the property would be worth a fortune. It seems like any time you mention highway or other big plans Arson is not faraway
Bad wiring human error OK but almost 60% of the business in the 10-mile long valley having some type of fire impossible.