2 arrested in armed Friendship robbery

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Pittsburgh police arrested two men Sunday evening after an armed robbery and subsequent chase in the city's East End.

DeVonne Brown and Jerron Thomas, both 20, have been charged with robbery, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. Mr. Thomas is also charged with flight to avoid apprehension, carrying a firearm without a license, resisting arrest and other related charges.

The pair is accused of robbing a Ryan Harris at gunpoint as he was walking back to his home in Friendship late Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Harris told officers a person police later identified as Thomas pointed a handgun a few inches from his face, said "give me all of your money" and took a $20 bill from his hand, according to a criminal complaint written by Officer David Derbish.

A second man later identified as Mr. Brown held a handgun pointed to the ground and took his cell phone after Thomas stole the cash, Mr. Harris told police.

Mr. Harris said he knew Thomas from the neighborhood and that they are the same age.

Officers dispatched to the area chased the two men in the East Liberty neighborhood.

Mr. Brown fled in between apartments in the 200 block of North Negley Avenue before a canine officer found him hiding in an abandoned shed behind a Sunoco gas station a block away, Officer Derbish wrote.

Thomas ran from the 100 block of North Saint Clair Street to the McDonald's in Penn Circle and sat down inside. He tried to flee but was taken into custody outside the restaurant, according to the complaint.

Police said they recovered the Glock handgun Thomas was carrying but did not find Mr. Brown's gun.

The men remain in the Allegheny County Jail unable to post $10,000 bail each. Both are scheduled for May 30 preliminary hearings.

Thomas had been previously adjudicated delinquent of felony aggravated assault and receiving stolen property charges in juvenile court and was not old enough to legally have a gun, Officer Derish wrote in the complaint.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.


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