A most unusual tactic of cutting all the phone lines going into a town to burglarize a store in Western Pa.

You would never know it today but if you visit the Lowes Home Improvement Center along Baptist Road in Bethel Park Pa.
 It was once a Shopping plaza with now defunct Hills Dept store and a Grocery store which was leveled to build the Lowes  .

When it was a Shopping Plaza and Hills Dept Stores where still in business there was an infamous unsolved Burglary which happened  in early 80s where thieves  cut the phone lines to the alarm at the Hills and made off with a boat load of stolen items.

Thieves cutting phone lines to disable alarms no big deal you say?  Yes this was a favorite tactic of burglars after Digital Phone and Tape dialers came out in 70's as they replaced Leased Phone lines which used reverse Polarity technology and where harder to beat   and Radio systems where in their beginning stages .Thieves knew all they had to do was cut the phone line and signal would not be sent  at most a line monitor would sense no phone line and local sirens would come on and hopefully some one would hear them and call police.

However the tactics taken by this crew of burglars was rather unique.

Knowing the Hills which was protected by the defunct Firm Security company which was sold to another alarm company after its owner was killed flying his personnel aircraft  .  The thieves considered  they might still be using the old style reverse polarity which utilized a line security feature  if added or McCullough Loop technology which also could utilize line security add on   or Hills  could be  using
the new digital technology  easily defeated  they still had to get around the sirens and such. but how?
 Plus being able to surveillance the Hills or Bethel Park Police station and not arouse suspicion  at the same time. 

Well this crew of burglars cut not only Hills phone lines but every phone line going into that area of Bethel Park and no one could make a phone call even if they heard the sirens . They managed to figure out exactly where to cut the phone lines so maximum damage was done and they did it in a way that damage was not readily apparent so it looked like a massive Bell Atlantic outage as Verizon was then known then ,and since  there where no cell phones only 2 way radio phones and they where very rare indeed to see.

At the time this happened it was thought some one with extensive phone knowledge was involved 

This tactic was also used in a couple other communities as well in the Tri- State area.

So now you have a phone outage and are completely blind  to what is going on in your community and since it seems like just a random outage and not a deliberate attempt  the police will take every action to check on all the businesses but as big as Bethel Park is  the cops could not be everywhere
despite valiant efforts to check on high value targets which you would not think Hills was but they did have a large jewelry section which is what the thieves went after and got clean away that day.

Eventually some gang members where caught and the practice of cutting all the lines into a town went away with new VHF and UHF  radio technology being used along with cellular technology and Internet  it made breaking in all that much harder which unfortunately burglars changed tactics and started daylight armed robbery's of places because its easier to get the cash or what ever your after

In the mean time the amount of people whose lives where put at risk because you could not  call for emergency services  for a heart attack or Fire  was totally and completely unconscionable of these burglars .

Of course this is not the first time the Bethel Park area was the scene of well thought out master criminal attack it was also the Community where the First Armored Car Robbery took place

 While it was transporting a payroll for miners . But in that case the Jawaorski Gang was caught and paid the price for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment