Suspects identified in Squirrel Hill bank robberies
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Pittsburgh police have identified two men accused of robbing Squirrel Hill banks in two separate incidents within the past week and a half.
One of the men, identified as Yamin Harris, 18, who previously lived in the West End and East Liberty, was arrested Wednesday following a morning foot chase through part of the neighborhood after a robbery at the First National Bank near Murray Avenue and Beacon Street.
Investigators obtained an arrest warrant on Thursday for Joseph Guiney, 33, of Greenfield who is accused of robbing the First Niagara Bank near the same intersection on Oct. 31. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Robbery Squad at 412-323-7151.
The most dramatic of the two robberies occurred on Wednesday. Major Crimes Lt. Kevin Kraus said Mr. Harris tried to walk into the First National Bank before it opened but was unsuccessful. He returned again shortly after 9 a.m., pointed a gun at three tellers and placed cash in a white Eat 'n Park bag before running away, police said.
Wearing an Ohio State University sweatshirt, Mr. Harris hid behind bushes until a mailman spotted him and called 911 at 9:38 a.m. to report "suspicious activity."
Officers from the city's Zone 4 station in Squirrel Hill were nearby and chased Mr. Harris as he weaved across streets and driveways, police said. Mr. Harris ran in front of one officer, who crashed while trying to chase him.
Officers booked Mr. Harris under the name John Doe and charged him with robbery, fire and drug violations while they tried to obtain fingerprints to confirm his identity. Court records show that he was also wanted for a street robbery that occurred in Friendship this summer.
Also on Thursday, Pittsburgh police obtained a warrant for Mr. Guiney, who is accused of robbing the First Niagara Bank on Halloween.
Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said Mr. Guiney entered the bank about 12:40 p.m., passed a teller a note saying, "I have a gun, give me the money" and took money from a teller before leaving. Police identified Mr. Guiney as the bank robber earlier this week, according to a criminal complaint.
First Published November 9, 2012 12:00 am