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Man suspected in 60 burglaries arrested on North Side

Pittsburgh police said they faced the barrel of a loaded gun Saturday after they interrupted a man — suspected of dozens of break-ins — who was shooting up heroin in a stolen car Saturday.

Officers successfully apprehended the man, Michael Lipovsik, 28, of Sheraden, and a woman, Buffy Wilczak, 27, of McKees Rocks, both of whom are wanted on a variety of charges.

Lipovsik, who is a suspect in 60 break-ins, pulled a handgun on three Pittsburgh vice and narcotics officers, police said. The officers disarmed him, and he was taken to Mercy Providence Hospital, North Side, where he was released following treatment.

No shots were fired and none of the officers was injured, city police Cmdr. Maurita Bryant said Sunday.

Bryant said Officers Charles Provident, Donald Gorham and Glenn Hairston were on an unrelated detail when they spotted Lipovsik and Wilczak about 9:40 p.m. in a stolen 1986 Buick Sentry parked in a McDonald’s parking lot at 801 Allegheny Ave., North Side.

Pittsburgh police Lt. Thomas Stangrecki said when the officers pulled up next to the car, they saw the occupants heating up a spoon and holding up a syringe.

Lipovsik started stuffing bags of suspected heroin in his mouth while he tried to start the car to get away from police, Stangrecki said.

Wilczak, who was sitting in the passenger’s side of the car with the door locked, refused to open the door for the officers, Bryant said.

After Lipovsik failed to start the car, he pulled a loaded Ruger semiautomatic handgun on the officers, Stangrecki said.

“The detectives struggled with him and were able to disarm him and were able to eventually get the gun away from him and handcuff him,” Stangrecki said.

Authorities on Jan. 17 announced a countywide manhut for Lipovsik. Investigators believe Lipovsik has stolen jewelry, guns and other items from homes in Pittsburgh, Shaler and Robinson townships, Ingram, Coraopolis and Crafton.

He faces charges of possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of an automobile, possessing instruments of crime, violation of the uniform firearms act and resisting arrest.

He already faced burglary, theft and receiving stolen property charges from Pittsburgh, Green Tree and Baldwin police. He also was wanted by the state police for a burglary charge in Washington County.

Wilczak was charged with possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, hindering apprehension and firearms violations, Bryant said.

Police also said there were outstanding warrants for her arrest from Kennedy Township, Monroeville and Whitehall on charges such as receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy.


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