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Teen charged in 2 stun-gun robberies in Squirrel Hill

| Sunday, March 1, 2009

A 16-year-old boy, who allegedly robbed a Squirrel Hill convenience store twice in less than a week with a stun gun, confessed and turned himself into police Friday, according to court documents.

The youth, who was accompanied by his grandmother, was charged by Pittsburgh police with two counts each of robbery and possession of an instrument of crime, a stun gun.

According to a police affidavit filed to support the criminal charges, the youth admitted to robbing the Select Mini-Market at 5829 Forward Ave. of $200 around 4 p.m. on Feb. 18. After going to the counter with a bag of potato chips and a candy bar, he pulled out a stun gun, placed it against the chest of the sales clerk and engaged the trigger "sending an electrical shock" to the clerk and "causing her to fall backward in pain," the affidavit states.

Six days later, court records show, the same youth returned to the same store at 6:30 p.m. and went to the counter with a pack of gum.

The youth told police "he pulled out his stun gun and tried to zap" the male clerk, but he wasn't sure if he actually touched him with the gun. The male yelled out, the report states, and the youth grabbed $172 from the register, ran and took a bus home.

The arrest brought an audible sigh of relief yesterday from a worker at the Select Mini-Market.

"That's very good news," said Helen Miltenberger, whose sister, Roberta Paxon, was the victim of the Feb. 18 robbery.

The 16-year-old boy was arraigned yesterday, records show, and bail was set at $10,000 with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday. The court records state that the youth confessed to both incidents verbally and in writing.

According to Pittsburgh police, the two incidents marked the first time in two years that a stun gun was used in a robbery.

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