PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh police are increasing the number of patrols and plain clothes detectives in the south end of the city after four robberies Thursday night.
The victims all gave similar descriptions of the thief, and investigators believe the same person may be responsible for three of the robberies.
In each of the cases, the victims were women who were walking when they were approached by someone who demanded money and their personal belongings at gunpoint. Police are urging people to be aware of their surroundings when they’re out and about.
The first armed robbery was reported just after 9 p.m. Thursday in the South Side Flats. According to police, a man carrying a gun approached two women who were walking into their home in the 2100-block of Sarah Street and demanded their belongings.
“It’s a little scary, hopefully they’ll be brave enough to come out again and will get caught,” says Julie Milan, who lives in the South Side Flats.
Police believe the two armed robberies in Mount Washington and one in Knoxville may have been connected. They all happened within 20 minutes and in a close vicinity.
“From [the victims’] accounts on what happened to them, it sounds very similar, and that’s why we think this is the same actor,” said Pittsburgh Police spokesperson Sonya Toler.
“Over here, not too much goes on,” says resident Lee Peays.
Peays lives on Ruth Street in Mount Washington. That’s where a 51-year-old woman reported a man held a gun to her temple and patted her down, demanding money. It happened around 11:30 p.m.
“I walk around here with my son, so I don’t want to be getting robbed or anything to happen,” Peays said.
Five minutes later on Haberman, a 46-year-old woman reported a similar story, and in Knoxville, a 58-year-old woman says a man took a purse from her shoulder as he ordered her to walk down Grimes Avenue at gunpoint.
Police say the person in these robberies has the same description –- a black male, 25 to 35 years old, 6 feet tall, heavy build, with shoulder-length braids and a scruffy beard. He was wearing all black with a dark brown coat. In each incident, police say the suspect left the scene on foot.
Police don’t know if there is any surveillance video in these areas, as they are mostly residential. If anyone has private surveillance cameras, police would like to review their video.