Mt. Oliver man tells police he committed 5 robberies to get bail money |

Mt. Oliver man tells police he committed 5 robberies to get bail money

Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety
Michael Buchanan

A Mt. Oliver man told police he committed five robberies around Pittsburgh to get enough cash to cover bail so he could turn himself in on a protection-from-abuse order warrant, according to criminal complaints filed against him.

Michael Buchanan, 36, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after a short standoff that required Pittsburgh’s SWAT, the FBI, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office and Mt. Oliver police.

A section of Brownsville Road was closed around the lunch hour until Buchanan was taken into custody, police said.

Buchanan initially denied being involved in any of the robberies, but ultimately told police he was drug-dependent and was robbing places to get bail money so he could turn himself in, according to the complaint.

Buchanan has a lengthy criminal history, according to online court records, and he’s been under the terms of a PFA order since 2010, sought by his ex-wife. That PFA order expires in 2021, according to court records.

He is accused of robbing the Dollar Eagle Discount store on Wednesday morning in the 1500 block of Beechview Avenue. He took an unspecified amount of cash from an empty cigarette carton used to store money at the store, clerks told police, according to the complaints.

Buchanan was ultimately identified and charged as the culprit in five robberies between Oct. 23 and Thursday in Pittsburgh, Turtle Creek and Mt. Oliver, according to complaints.

On Oct. 23, police said, Buchanan robbed the First National Bank on Carson Street on the South Side by using a note that said, “I am armed. I have a bomb and a gun. Give me your money no dye packs … no GPS,” according to the complaints. A teller gave him $1,508.

On Nov. 1, Buchanan is accused of going into the Ace Cash Checks on Brownsville Road in Mt. Oliver and shoved an object that looked like a makeshift weapon, according to the complaints. The clerk went to a safe area, called 911 and alerted other businesses in the area.

On Nov. 4, police said, Buchanan robbed the Citizens Bank in Turtle Creek. He presented a note similar to the one used in the other bank robbery and was given $1,836, the complaints said.

On Nov. 16, Buchanan is accused of robbing the Uni-Mart on Brownsville Road where he allegedly pointed a gun at a clerk and was given $203 and two packs of cigarettes, according to the complaints.

Buchanan is in Allegheny County Jail on five counts of robbery, two counts of theft, two counts of receiving stolen property, terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment.

Tom Davidson and Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writers. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter @TribDavidson. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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