Asked about reports of theft from the new store, police Zone 2 Cmdr.  Eric Holmes said there have been none, only rumors like a Facebook posting of unsubstantiated “word on the street.”

“We have been and will continue to work in partnership with the Hill House, the Consensus Group, the Carnegie Library, the YMCA, the SHOP ‘n SAVE and other business and community members to ensure public safety in the Hill District,” said Holmes.

“We also work with Duquesne University Police Department as the university has the pharmacy in the Plaza. (DUPD also patrols the area.) Port Authority Police patrols Centre Avenue and monitors the bus stops as part of their duties within Allegheny County.”

The store also has security personnel and the advantage of constant video surveillance throughout; technology that was not available in the 1980s.

As the Hill House Association owns the Centre Heldman Plaza, President and CEO Cheryl Hall-Russell said she has been in constant contact with the SHOP ‘n SAVE management team, and that there is no unusual level of loss at the store. Treating social media gossip as fact would be irresponsible.

“I’m a little concerned that any credence is being given to a Facebook rumor, because there is none,” she said. “The truth is there is nothing out of the ordinary going on at the store. Some people have low expectations for this store because it’s in the Hill District, and lot of nasty things were said about it.

We wouldn’t like to see its reputation smeared by one person’s campaign.”

Naturally, one confirmed incident is not a crime wave, and White wants to keep it that way.

“The SHOP ‘n SAVE means so much. The community is coming back, with the Library, the new YMCA. The store is going to bring new business and jobs back to the Hill,” he said. “The mentality has changed. It’s not like it was 30 years ago.”

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