Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dan's Deli Burglary from 80's Solved

I had a customer back in the 80's who had a Deli in the city of Pittsburgh which sat on the line with a suburb/Boro of Pittsburgh you walked across the road and where in another town . Dan opened it about 1980 and I did his refrigeration work . Dan sold the deli around 82 after seeing the hand writing on the wall and got a State Job after all the steel mills went down around 81-82 and sold it to Hank a layed off Steel Worker who used his pension fund to buy and run the Deli unfortunately thou He had to end up closing it around 83 and couple other people tried to make a go including couple different Pizza shops but no go the place has sat vacant now since mid 90' s
While Hank was trying to run it He asked me to put in a simple burglar alarm to protect the store since there where so many burglary's going on in the area. Which I did but no matter the thieves still some how got in and defeated the system. All along the theory was it was an inside job and some employee helped pull it off. But despite the police dept best effort no one was charged. How ever it has now come to light just how the burglary was committed and who did it.
While sitting in a class at fire school few years back I was shown a tool known as a K -tool
( See for additional info)
which is used to pull lock cylinders to get to the opening mechanism so minimal damage is done to a business if entry is needed to be made .The lock cylinder then can be reinserted and no one the wiser to it if carefully removed it leaves very small tell tale marks. During the class the fact we where being shown this in first place brought up the usual ? should we even be shown this, and the instructor went on to say how he has a lot of personnel liability insurance coverage especially after one of the depts firefighters he showed how to do this where responsible for a series of burglary's the same town across from the deli. At the time it did not click in but couple months ago I ran into Dan who owned the Old Deli and he starts on me about charging Hank an extremely high amount for the alarm and how he lost money because Hank went Bankrupt and never finished paying him and I just laughed I said you got to be kidding what the hell are you talking about. Not only did I not charge him a lot when he closed I sold the parts for him and got most of his money back on it. Dan just huffed and walked away looking like a fool.
Which got me back to that whole time when I put the system in and we never figured out who did it.
Well it ends up it was the very Volunteer fire dept. whose Boro's line is across from the deli who where involved and it was kept very hush hush about what happened and never shared it with the city detectives back in 80's. When over 20 businesses in the area had been burglarized and no one knew how entry was made and only money was stolen with no damage to the business.
So now after almost 30 years we know what happened. The few times I ever had systems beat it was almost always with inside info or an employee was involved and we proved it. Because systems properly installed are very hard to defeat without extensive knowledge. But Dan's Deli case always bothered me. But now we have answered what happened and this is one of the first things I look for is the tell tale marks the K- tool leaves on lock cylinders when there pulled and reinserted. Marks almost 30 years ago Police detectives could not explain when the lock was examined by them.
All these years have passed but at least now I have answer's and the statute of limitations has well run on these fool fireman a couple of who I knew and went to school with pulled off.
some who have passed away from making bad choices in there lives.

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