Jul 30, 2014
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Moon Police: Pittsburgh Men Charged in Taxi Cab Armed Robbery

Police trace footprints in the snow to a home, where they find two men suspected of committing the holdup.

Moon Police: Pittsburgh Men Charged in Taxi Cab Armed Robbery

Moon Township Police said a Yellow Cab taxi driver fled from his vehicle after two men robbed him at gunpoint Wednesday on Cedar Drive.

Police have charged Brandon Brown, 23, and Lynard Grace Jr., 23, both of Pittsburgh, with felony robbery and aggravated assault in the incident. 

Police said the cab driver picked up Brown, Grace and an unidentified woman at 3:15 a.m. Wednesday in McKees Rocks. The group instructed the driver to go to Coraopolis and then to the Mooncrest neighborhood in Moon Township. 

When the vehicle arrived just before 4 a.m. at the 400 block of Cedar Drive, the woman got out of the cab and went into a home on the street.

Brown, who was seated in the front seat of the cab, pulled out a silver Raven Arms revolver and pointed it at the driver, according to police.

Brown ordered the driver to "give me what you got," police said. The driver unbuckled his seatbelt and ran through a wooded area towards Thorn Run Road, where he called police on his cell phone, according to a criminal complaint filed by Detective Joseph Brace. 

When police arrived, they found the cab parked with the engine running and doors open. 

The driver, who was not hurt, provided police with a description of the passengers involved, Brace wrote. He said the suspects took a GPS device and gray backpack containing toilet paper, credit card receipts and other items.

The incident was captured on surveillance cameras that monitor the Mooncrest neighborhood, according to the complaint. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Brace and Detective William Lonkert followed footprints left in the snow to a home at 444 Cedar Drive. The prints appeared to be that of a woman's high-heeled boot, according to the complaint, and police suspected it was made by the female passenger in the cab. 

When police approached the home, they said a woman answered the door. Brace said he asked to speak to the home's occupants, and the woman indicated that her "cousins were upstairs," according to the complaint. 

Police said they found Brown and Grace in an upstairs bedroom, seated on a bed. The woman consented to a search of her home, where police found 28 stamp bags containing heroin, a baggie of cocaine, and a GPS device and gray backpack believed to have belonged to the driver, according to police. They also found a silver revolver. 

Brown and Grace have also been charged with drug possession, receiving stolen property, conpiracy and reckless endangerment. Brown also is charged with carrying a firearm without a license.

Both Brown and Grace were taken to the Allegheny County Jail and are being held on $100,000 bail each.

Both men are scheduled for preliminary hearings Feb. 5 in Coraopolis District Court. 

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