Hi Albert, The Pittsburg area has surely gone through many changes and is still is re-gentrifying in some areas and others have fallen to section eight housing in lieu of primary home residences. Generally as renters there isn't the pride of ownership like "curb appeal". Do you know your neighbors? It is important for neighbors to look out for one another. I would suggest you contact your local police precinct and tell them of your concerns and what you can do to feel safer then you are. Find out if there is a neighborhood watch program in your area. If you don't have a dog it would be nice to think of getting the love and protection of one.
When it comes to any safety concerns, your best source of accurate and up to the minute information are the local authorities, consider a call/visit and ask all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand.