Good Citizen-Faculty & Staff News - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good Citizen

Kalbaugh’s Silver Wedding Anniversary Turns Up Copper for Local Police

Dave Kalbaugh says he’s no hero. He was just trying doing the right thing.

And he certainly did.

By turning in to police a GPS unit that he and his daughter found in a parking lot in Monroeville, the facilities coordinator and computer maintenance lead for the Computing Services Division helped crack 35 copper thefts at area Home Depot stores.

On his 25th wedding anniversary this past July 19, the Kalbaughs of nearby Plum Boro were heading out for a celebration dinner and stopped at a local Kohl’s Department Store. After dropping off his wife at the door, Kalbaugh’s daughter, Brandi, spotted a GPS unit and car keys on a lamppost ledge in the parking lot.

Searching the unit and set of keys for identification, Brandi, 22, noticed that directions to many area Home Depots were stored in the GPS unit.  They thought it might have belonged to a sales person.

“I didn’t want to turn them into Kohl’s or the nearby GFS store, because I wasn’t sure they would get into the right hands,” said Kalbaugh, who is in his 29th year at Carnegie Mellon. “I thought someone might take the GPS."

“At dinner, my brother-in-law suggested that I take them to the police department. So we stopped at the police station on the way home.”

Police told Kalbaugh that there had been some arrests at Kohl’s earlier that day and a car had been towed from the scene.   

“They took my contact information and told me that they would call me if they needed to get back to me,” Kalbaugh said.

Two days later Lt. Lawrence Lyons of the Monroeville Police Department left voicemail on his home phone saying the found GPS enabled them to solve 35 of 41 copper theft cases at area Home Depots as far as 500 miles away.

“Sometimes by doing the right thing, you can help a lot of people,” Lt. Lyons said.

“He said they really appreciated me turning it in,” Kalbaugh said. “My daughter was pretty excited. We call her ‘Eagle Eye Brandi’ now.”