The Pitt News

Student home targeted in armed robbery

By Dale Shoemaker / News Editor

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An unidentified man held a student at gunpoint late Tuesday night in his home on McKee Place, stealing televisions and other electronics before fleeing the scene.

According to a 911 dispatcher, police received a call at 10:36 p.m. to 355 McKee Place in Oakland. Joe Roesinger said he was in his living room when a man came in through the front door, pulled out a gun, cocked it, pointed it at him and asked “where the cash was.”

Roesinger opened his empty wallet and showed it to the man. Unsatisfied, the man asked Roesinger, junior computer engineering major, to show him his valuables.

Roesinger, whose three roommates were not home, led the man through the living room on the first floor of the house and through the bedrooms upstairs. In all, the man took two small televisions, a laptop, a watch and two pairs of headphones.

He then pointed his gun at Roesinger’s back and told him to walk down into the basement. Roesinger complied, and heard the man close the basement door, attempting to block it with a suitcase.

After he heard the man leave through the front door, Roesinger walked out onto his front porch and dialed 911.

Roesinger said the man was African American, about 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighed about 140 pounds. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt with blue sleeves, ripped jeans and blue Nike sneakers.

One of Roesinger’s roommates, Ryan Hagan, arrived at the house approximately four minutes after Pittsburgh police had arrived. Coming home from hurling practice, Hagan walked up to his house and found police standing on the front porch.

“‘What the hell could be going on?’” Hagan, a junior mechanical engineer, recalled saying then.

At 10:43 p.m., not long after Hagan arrived home, Roesinger sent a text message to Pat Corelli, another roommate, saying they had been robbed.

Corelli, who also serves as Pitt’s Student Government Board’s governmental relations chair, was walking home from a meeting when he received the text.

“It sucks, but I’m happy no one was hurt,” Corelli, a senior mechanical engineering major, said.

Several hours after the police had left, but before Zone 4 detectives arrived, Roesinger said he was more angry than shocked.

“We’re students, we don’t make a lot of money,” Roesinger said. “Why rob a college house?”

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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper
Student home targeted in armed robbery