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.