Allegheny County

Pennsylvania ‘Selfie' Robbery Suspect Remains Behind Bars

A serial robbery suspect identified by his selfie as the man who wounded a store clerk during a heist last year will remain in jail after waiving his right to a detention hearing Thursday.

The hearing would have allowed George Wilson III, 33, of Penn Hills, to contest the federal government's motion that he be detained until his trial on robbery charges. He is accused of robbing three video exchange stores and four gas stations in the Pittsburgh area in November and December.

The suspect's attorneys have argued prosecutors have the wrong man.

But police, who turned their investigation over to the FBI, said Wilson helped identify himself as a suspect when he took a selfie. The picture shows Wilson wearing the same jacket as when he allegedly shot a clerk in the shoulder while robbing The Exchange store in Ross Township on Dec. 2.

Wilson's current attorney, federal public defender Jay Finkelstein, has a blanket policy of not speaking to the media.

Various police departments in Allegheny County had charged Wilson with the robberies late last year, but federal authorities who took over the case obtained a grand jury indictment earlier this month.

They argued that Wilson was a danger to the community and a threat to flee prosecution given the nature of the charges and his criminal record. Had the federal magistrate agreed with either or both of those claims - and that there was no other way to safeguard the public - he could have ordered Wilson jailed until trial.

By waiving the hearing, Wilson conceded the point.

Wilson is awaiting trial on charges he robbed The Exchange outlets in Monroeville on Nov. 24 and in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood - near the University of Pittsburgh campus - on Dec. 13, in addition to the Dec. 2 heist in Ross. He also charged with firing a gun during a crime of violence and illegally having a weapon during that robbery, because he has a 2002 robbery conviction which makes it illegal for Wilson to carry a gun.

He's also charged with robbing four gas station/convenience stores in Penn Hills and Verona on Dec. 13, 22, 23 and 26. The same Penn Hills Sunoco outlet was targeted on Dec. 13 and 26.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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