Cab driver foils scam attempt on elderly man

Written by Jon Schmitz on .

Yellow Cab driver David Capizzi thought he smelled a rat.

yellowHe was dispatched to pick up an 82-year-old Castle Shannon man. The man told him he’d gotten a call from a sweepstakes company and that he’d won $5 million. He needed to purchase a $500 Walmart gift card to send to the sweepstakes company to claim his prize.

Mr. Capizzi had another suggestion. He told the man to call Castle Shannon police.

“He most certainly foiled the scam,” borough police Chief Ken Truver said.

The scam is one of many that target elderly residents, and the perpetrators often operate from other countries and use disposable phones to stay out of reach of police, Chief Truver said. “If somebody is asking you to send them money, red flags ought to go up.”

The cab company showed its appreciation by waiving the lease charges on Mr. Capizzi’s cab for a week.

The Route 28 construction project will reach its next milestone on Friday, when PennDOT shifts outbound traffic to the newly excavated and paved section between East Ohio Street and the 40th Street Bridge. The shift will start at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to be completed by 3 p.m. Delays and traffic stoppages are possible during the change. Outbound traffic will continue to be restricted to one lane after the change. The work is part of the $36.4 million fourth phase of Route 28 reconstruction. When the project is complete in the fall of 2014, there will be grade-separated interchanges at 31st and 40th streets with no signals for through traffic and significant safety improvements to the highway.

PennDOT driver’s license and photo centers will be closed Thanksgiving and the day after — no Black Friday at the DMV. The department reminds customers that many services are available on the web at  

Tree trimming may close the left lane on the outbound Parkway East after 10 p.m. Wednesday between Grant Street in Downtown Pittsburgh and Forbes Avenue in Oakland.

The bridge carrying Alpha Drive over Route 28 in O’Hara was to close for resurfacing Wednesday afternoon through about 5 p.m. Friday. Traffic will detour using Gamma and Beta drives through the RIDC industrial park.

The Parkway North HOV lanes will be open Friday night. PennDOT still plans to close them at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday but removed Friday’s closure from the schedule. The lanes will be open during rush hours.

Lane closures are possible on Second Avenue near the Armstrong Tunnel starting at 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday as an overhead sign is replaced on the adjoining Parkway East. Work ends by 5 a.m. daily. Lane closures also are possible Monday night.

Inspection of the Interstate 79 Neville Island Bridge in the area of the Glenfield/Route 65 interchange will continue through Saturday, causing lane and/or shoulder closures on Route 65, Deer Run Road and other roadways and ramps in the vicinity. Some restrictions may also occur on I-79 in that area as needed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily.

PennDOT expects to reopen the Ambridge-Aliquippa Bridge late Thursday afternoon after eight months of construction. The bridge, which crosses the Ohio River connecting Routes 65 and 51, closed in March for the start of a two-year, $16.6 million rehabilitation. The bridge will remain closed to pedestrians through the winter, and will close again to vehicular traffic in March for the second season of work. Short-term lane closures may occur at times through the winter.

Interstate 79 in Washington County will have single-lane traffic in both directions at the Meadow Lands construction site from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and overnight after 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. That will allow crews to switch traffic back to its normal configuration on the main line. Completion of the project to expand and reconfigure the interchange won’t come until next year, though.

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