Milwaukee man facing multiple charges for crime spree involving five victims

NOW: Milwaukee man facing multiple charges for crime spree involving five victims

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A 23-year-old Milwaukee man is facing multiple charges following a two-day crime spree that ended in a crash after a police chase. 

Pierre McDonald Jr. is facing three counts of robbery with force, two counts of taking and driving a vehicle without owner's consent, one count of theft, one count of vehicle operator fleeing/eluding an officer causing damage to property, and one count of second degree recklessly endangering safety. 

According to a criminal complaint, the crime spree started at 2:40 a.m. on Nov. 11. Milwaukee police were dispatched to Potawatomi Hotel and Casino in response to a strong armed robbery. 

When police got there, a woman said as she was walking to her car, she could feel her purse being pulled from her arm and she was dragged to the ground. She looked up and saw a man pulling her purse from her arm and then she saw him get into a blue car and drive away, the complaint says. 

Video surveillance captured the man driving away in a car with a license plate that was listed to a different vehicle belonging to the suspect's father. 

McDonald was identified as the suspect because there was video of him going into the casino and entering his ID into the casino's system, according to the criminal complaint.  

Later that morning, around 5:05 a.m., police were again sent to Potawatomi in response to a report of a stolen car. When they got there, hotel security said they saw a man matching McDonald's description driving a blue car with a key fob out the window. The complaint says he found the car, parked his car, and took a tan car that belonged to the woman whose purse he had allegedly taken earlier in the morning. 

That afternoon, Marquette University Police were dispatched to the Blood Center on North 18th Street. When police got there, they interviewed a woman who said she was walking through the parking lot when a SUV drove into the lot and stopped in front of her. She said a man got out of the driver's seat and quickly approached her and he grabbed for her purse and shoved her against the SUV. According to the criminal complaint, the woman said the man took her purse from her left shoulder. She eventually ran toward the building and feared he would run her over. 

That night, around 9 p.m., Milwaukee Police were called to the Walmart at 401 East Capitol. A woman said she had been sitting inside the Walmart by the pharmacy and that she was waiting for an Uber ride to go home. She said a man came up to her and say, 'Hey, Miss lady.' The woman told the man she was not in line, the man responded that he knew that, and then eventually pushed her in the chest, hit her in the face, grabbed her iPhone out of her hand, and drove away in a silver vehicle that had the same license plate number as the vehicle McDonald had left behind at Potawatomi earlier in the day. 

The next morning, on Nov. 12 around 8:15 a.m., a woman went to the District Five Police Station to report her car, a white Nissan, had been stolen from in front of a home in the 2800 block of North 1st Street. 

The woman said she had gone out to start her car to warm it up and had left her keys in the ignition. She said she went inside for a moment and when she looked back out she saw someone take her car, according to the complaint. 

About an hour and fifteen minutes later, at 9:30 a.m., Milwaukee Police were called back to Potawatomi for a theft. A woman said a man allegedly approached her, took her purse, and then got back into his car and drove away. Security staff looked at surveillance video and saw that the man who stole the purse got out of a white Nissan car that had the same license plates of the car that had been reported stolen from North 1st Street. 

Security told police it was McDonald and that they were able to identify him because of the incident the day before. 

The complaint says that day, Milwaukee officers had been briefed about the numerous crimes believed to involve McDonald. Undercover officers spotted the stolen Nissan near North Martin Luther King Drive and West Wright Street. After another squad turned on the siren and lights, McDonald drove away and led police on a chase that lasted 19 minutes and reached speeds of 90 miles per hour on both streets and highways. 

The chase ended when McDonald collided with a parked car in front of 2717 West Lincoln Avenue. Police approached and arrested McDonald. 

According to the complaint, a Milwaukee Police Detective interviewed McDonald the next day. McDonald said he had a heroin addiction and needs to use it every day. "The defendant stated he was snatching purses and stealing phones, but he was not hurting anyone and that he was getting money to support his habit," the complaint said. 

He said he stole the Nissan after running out of gas in the SUV he had been living out of. He also said he had stolen two purses from two different ladies at Potawatomi. 

In regards to the Walmart incident, he said "he was rolling around in the Envoy and took a woman's iPhone."

He also allegedly confessed to the incident in the Blood Center parking lot. He said the SUV he was in was running out of gas and he "pulled into the parking lot and saw the lady and he struggled with her and took her purse and also saw her phone on the ground and he picked that up and took it, too."

McDonald was bound over for trial on Monday, Nov.25. 

Court records show McDonald was also charged earlier this month for misdemeanor retail theft back in May. The criminal complaint for that incident says McDonald stole an iPhone from a US Cellular store. 

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