Pittsburgh police arrest 2 in Oakland BB-gun robbery spree

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Two North Oakland men are in jail today after Pittsburgh police accused them of robbing nine people in an hour Sunday while armed with a BB gun.

Keith Douglas Williams, 24, and Derrick Bragg, 42, are charged with multiple counts each of robbery and conspiracy.

The robberies began about 9:15 p.m. when a woman said she was robbed at gunpoint in front of her apartment in the 4600 block of Bayard Street.

The woman told police two men approached her and asked her to open her wallet, from which she gave them about $100 in cash. She said she could see one of them, who police identified later as Mr. Bragg, carrying a black handgun that was a realistic-looking BB gun, according to a criminal complaint.

Just three minutes later, another robbery was reported, this time on Craig Street and Bayard.

Two people there said they were approached by Mr. Bragg, who pulled a black handgun and said "give me everything you got." One of them handed over his wallet and calculator, while the other gave over her purse.

They noticed Mr. Williams as they were walking away, according to the complaint.

About 9:30 p.m., as officers were still investigating the earlier attacks, yet another robbery was reported at Centre and Melwood avenues a few blocks away.

Four men said they were getting money out of an ATM when a man engaged them in casual conversation, asking if they were in college or in a band.

But after a few minutes of questioning, the men said, the man grew enraged and demanded money. He pulled a small handgun and warned that they could be shot, according to the complaint.

The men handed over whatever cash they had.

"If you don't want to die, you will act like you never met me," the robber told them, according to the complaint.

Another man told police that he, too, was robbed of his cash about 10:15 p.m. while walking on North Craig near Bayard. That man later identified Mr. Bragg and Mr. Williams as his attackers, police said.

And at about 10:20 p.m., yet another man said he was robbed in the 200 block of North Craig by a man who came up and asked him if he smoked. Before he could answer, the man pulled a gun and pointed it at his intended victim, who ran.

A Pittsburgh police canine officer en route to a robbery call on Melwood Avenue about the same time detained two men matching the robbers' descriptions.

The officer spotted Mr. Bragg walking into his home in the 300 block of Melwood and asked him to come talk to him, but instead Mr. Bragg ran, dropping a handgun as he fled, according to the complaint.

A police dog captured him. He was treated for dog bites at UPMC Presbyterian.

Mr. Williams, who was also in front of the home on Melwood, was taken to the Allegheny County Jail.

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Sadie Gurman: sgurman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1878.


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