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City Man Held in String of Robberies

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
February 27, 2023
Posted in: Crime and Police News

A city man is being held in the Allegheny County Jail in connection with a string of convenience store robberies in McKeesport and Munhall.

James E. Harrison III, 26, faces preliminary hearings on March 6 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi in McKeesport and on March 8 before Magisterial District Judge Patrick Campbell in Munhall on 18 different charges, including multiple counts of robbery, simple assault, recklessly endangering other persons and theft.

Allegheny County detectives and McKeesport and Munhall police said that Harrison has been connected to five robberies, including a Jan. 17 hold-up at a market in the 900 block of Union Avenue, two hold-ups at a variety store on Lysle Boulevard in February, and two robberies at a deli on Main Street in Munhall.

The Lysle Boulevard robberies were a week apart, on Feb. 12 and 19.

County police Lt. Jason Binder said the incidents began Jan. 17, when a man held up the market on Union Avenue. Four days later, Munhall polie responded to a deli in the 3400 block of Main Street for another armed robbery. They returned to the same location on Feb. 20 when the same suspect is alleged to have robbed that store again, police said.

County police investigated the hold-ups at the variety store on Lysle Boulevard, Binder said.

Comparing notes from the investigations, Binder said, McKeesport, Munhall and county detectives concluded that each of the robberies had been committed by the same suspect, and they began sharing information while conducting their own inquiries.

On Friday, city police with the assistance of Munhall officers took the suspect, identified as Harrison, into custody in McKeesport on outstanding arrest warrants from those departments, Binder said.

County police then obtained their own arrest warrants and charged Harrison with the Feb. 12 and 19 robberies, Binder said.

Harrison was arraigned early Saturday morning by Magisterial District Judge Robert Ravenstahl Jr. and is being held on a cumulative bond of $135,000.

Detectives allege that Harrison used a handgun in each of the hold-ups, Binder said.

The investigation is continuing and police are following up leads to see if Harrison is linked to any additional armed robberies, he said.

Anyone with information concerning the incident is asked to call the Allegheny County Police tip line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS (1-833-255-8477); callers can remain anonymous. The department can also be reached via its social media sites.

Originally published February 27, 2023.

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