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Paint-Filled Christmas Ornaments Thrown At Local Nonprofit Leader's Home

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Christmas ornaments filled with paint were thrown at the house of a Lawrenceville nonprofit leader.

Lauren Byrne is the executive director of Lawrenceville United, an agency dedicated to improving the neighborhood, and it's not the first time she's been targeted by vandals.

In the latest incident, police say someone threw glass ornaments filled with paint at her home.

Back in September, the organizations sent a message on its Facebook page, reporting that someone had thrown a brick through the front window of Lawrenceville United's office.

According to their Facebook page, the brick had the letters "LB" on it, which they believe targeted Byrne.

And in May, Lawrenceville United said a burned-out pickup truck was found behind its offices.

The mayor, though, says he's asked the police chief and the commander in this district to get involved.

"We'll get 'em," Peduto said. "I think that there are suspects that are recognized and hopefully this week they'll be called in for questioning."

The bigger issue he says is sending a message to those who might think twice about community service after seeing this latest vandalism.

"What we want to do is encourage more people to be more involved in their neighborhoods," the mayor said, "and so if somebody tries to think that they can get away with trying intimidation factors I would just simply say 'find another city because we're going to find you, we're going to root you out and you're no longer going to be a part of Lawrenceville or the city of Pittsburgh. You're not wanted here.'"

George Saba, a Lawrenceville United board member, issued this statement today:

"Obviously, we are upset and disturbed by the actions taken against our Executive Director," Saba wrote. "We believe that she has been unfairly targeted because of her visibility as a leader in a community that she cares deeply about. She has done nothing but work tirelessly as an advocate and resource for Lawrenceville and for her to be the specific target of numerous crimes over the last year is unacceptable and disappointing. She acts only in the interest of our neighbors and never takes a position that hasn't been specifically requested for by members of the neighborhood. But those responsible for these acts seemingly fail to realize that and instead of engaging in an open dialog where resolutions to issues may be found, they have chosen to engage in numerous acts of personalized vandalism. It needs to stop."

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