PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police have identified a man seen in Crime Stoppers surveillance video attempting to break into an Oakland apartment recently.
He is 57-year-old Gerald Russell, who listed his home address in Braddock.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Lawmaker Chris Sainato Defends $1.8 Million In Taxpayer-Paid Expenses
Russell tried to force his way in a ground-floor apartment on North Neville Street last month, pushing in a window air conditioner. But, he was frightened off when a woman inside the apartment heard the commotion and screamed.
Pittsburgh Police got a call on Thursday afternoon about someone acting suspiciously in one of the buildings in the 5600-block of Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside.
When they got to the apartment building, they found a man – identified as Russell – in one of the apartments. In one hand, he had a bag of stolen grapes; in the other, a stolen laptop computer.
There was an open window in the apartment, with a heavy duty trash can beneath it on the ground, along with a screen with a bent frame.READ MORE: Study Highlights Pennsylvania's Aging And Crumbling Infrastructure
Russell claimed the grapes and laptop belonged to him, but he was taken into custody after the woman who lived in the apartment said they were stolen from her, the grapes taken right out of her refrigerator.
Police said they continued questioning Russell, but they couldn’t get a straight answer out of him.
According to experts, you’re especially vulnerable to burglars if you live in a first floor or basement apartment. They also advise residents to secure window air conditioning units in the summer months.
These are all too often tempting targets to would-be thieves.MORE NEWS: Child Tax Credit: How Much Money Will The IRS Send You Each Month?
Russell is now in custody, charged in thefts on Ellsworth Avenue. But police say he’ll be charged in the attempted theft in Oakland as well, and the investigation into similar thefts is continuing.