Serial robber wanted for violent thefts arrested after carjacking in McKees Rocks

A man whom police called a “serial robber” was arrested in McKees Rocks Friday.

“It’s sad to see that this is the way things are around here these days,” said James Clark of Stowe Township.

According to McKees Rocks police, Robert Populo was wanted in four different violent robberies in the McKees Rocks area.

It all started last week — when police say Populo robbed two separate men — one outside of the GetGo gas station on Chartiers Avenue and another man in a park near McKees Rocks Bridge. Police said he also recently robbed an elderly woman.

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Police said the victims ranged in age from 18 to 77 years old.

Police also said Populo was wanted in a robbery in Pittsburgh of an elderly woman and a violent carjacking in McKees Rocks.

Police said he carjacked an elderly man near Windgap Bridge, reaching speeds of up to 85 mph in a neighborhood full of homes, with two pedestrians having to jump out of his path.

“It used to be a lot better. You could walk down the street in the middle of the night, afternoon, whatever the case may be. But you can’t do that anymore,” Clark said.

Populo was seen in the McKees Rocks Plaza a short time after the carjacking, which happened on Friday. He fled from police and was taken into custody after he crashed in Pittsburgh’s Sheraden neighborhood and ran on foot.

Populo faces dozens of charges, including reckless endangerment, multiple traffic violations, robbery, and drug possession. Populo is in the Allegheny County Jail after his bail was denied.

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