Share This Page

Warrants pending for Baldwin Borough home invasion suspects

| Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:15 p.m.

Baldwin Borough police said Tuesday they were close to issuing warrants for four of six people they suspect are involved in a home invasion of a local apartment last week, when a woman told police eight children were held at gunpoint, and the intruders ordered her to take them to a man.

“We have a pretty good idea of who they might be, pending further investigation and should be obtaining warrants in the near future,” police Chief Michael Scott said.

A woman told Baldwin Borough police last week that she was with a female friend and the children, ranging in age from 1 to 13, when someone knocked on the door of a Keeport Drive apartment shortly before 11 p.m. April 30, Scott said.

Masked gunmen barged in and ordered the children into a bedroom, Scott said. They told the woman to take them to a man she knows by a street name and threatened to killed the children if she didn't comply, Scott said.

She drove two of the men to a house in West Mifflin. They told her to tell the man at the house to come outside, Scott said. Instead, she ran into the home, locked the door and called 911. The gunmen drove off, but, Scott said, because police didn't know how many remained at the apartment with the children, SWAT officers were summoned.

After about five hours, police entered the house and determined none of the children were injured, Scott said. Police continue to investigate.

There are about 1,500 apartments and town houses in the 74-building The Residences of South Hills complex, located on 55 acres in Baldwin Borough. Formerly Leland Point, the complex underwent a multimillion-dollar improvement project in the last several years after resident complaints prompted the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office to file nuisance charges against the former owners in 2010. The case was settled.

The complex, previously called The Knolls, Baldwin Courts and Green Meadows, was sold in June 2011 for nearly $10 million as part of a multistate acquisition. Kushner Companies of New York partnered with Apollo Property Management of Ohio and Square Mile Capital of New York to purchase 4,681 apartment units in three states, including those at Leland Point.

Kristin Cox, 25, said she often sees “kids running around doing things they shouldn't” at the complex.

She said she has called the police about the activity and that even though she just she moved to The Residences of South Hills in September, she wants to relocate.

Cox, who lives in a basement-level apartment with her family, said she has put pillows and blankets along the windows in an attempt to keep her children safe inside.

She said she “expected the teenage hoodlum thing” but not something like the home invasion.

Vanilla Henry, 49, a Keeport Drive resident who has lived in the complex since 2001, said she often hears police sirens but feels safe.

“I've never had any problems with anybody,” Henry said.

Baldwin Borough police have had a substation in the apartment complex for more than 12 years and added extra contracted patrols at the complex within the last few years, Scott said.

Stephanie Hacke and Margaret Harding are staff writers for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.