Pittsburgh police yesterday arrested the man they believe to be the boutique bandit, suspected in a string of holdups last week that started with convenience stores and ended with a quartet of women s clothing shops.
Courtland Gaylord LaPrade was arrested at 3 a.m. at Hemans and Kirkpatrick streets in the Hill District and charged with 11 counts of armed robbery.
A city police news release did not say how police located the suspect. State criminal records indicate that police here and elsewhere have located him in the past.
Mr. LaPrade has a lengthy rap sheet starting in 1988 in Allegheny County and stretching to January of this year in Allegheny and Washington counties, including charges of assault, burglary, robbery, receiving stolen property and possession of controlled substances. At the time of his arrest, court records show, he was awaiting trial on a count of retail theft and disorderly conduct in Washington County.
Three years earlier, he pleaded guilty to assault after he was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon and recklessly endangerment.
Police yesterday charged Mr. LaPrade in connection with a string of robberies that began last Monday evening, paused for a day, then resumed in a 36-hour marathon of holdups stretching from the East End to the South Side, encompassing Oakland, Knoxville, Lawrenceville and Bloomfield.
In all, 11 shops were hit by the robber who would walk in, sometimes engage the clerk in conversation, even ask for an employment application, then show a gun and order clerks to hand over the contents of the cash drawer.
Among the final holdups by the robber were clothing shops.
Dennis Roddy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 412-263-1965.