PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg Police Department announced Sunday that a suspect in a recent string of armed robberies was taken into custody over the weekend. On Monday, however, Crawford County Sheriff Danny Smith confirmed that the suspect, 46-year-old William T. Haddan of Pittsburg, had died in custody.
Smith said Haddan died early Monday morning, and while a final autopsy report will take some time to complete, it was suspected that Haddan’s death was a suicide. In a press release later Monday afternoon, Smith noted that Haddan was found unresponsive in his cell shortly before 7 a.m. and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is now investigating his death.
At about 9:24 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, Pittsburg police officers were dispatched to the Pete’s convenience store at the Phillips 66 gas station at 18th Street and North Broadway in response to a call about an armed robbery.
Officers received a report that a white male wearing a hooded sweatshirt, a black jacket and a face covering entered the store, displayed a knife, and demanded cash, according to a police press release. The suspect then reportedly fled southbound on a bicycle with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was harmed during the robbery.
Police checked the surrounding area but did not immediately locate the suspect. Once detectives arrived at the scene to assist with the investigation, however, Haddan was quickly identified as the suspect. Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Dec. 12, Haddan was taken into custody without incident, according to the Pittsburg Police Department’s release.
After further investigation, police executed a search warrant at Haddan’s residence in Pittsburg, where they located and seized items linking him to the Nov. 21 armed robbery at Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas and the Dec. 4 armed robbery at the Snak-Atak convenience store on East 4th Street, according to the PPD release.
"Additional evidence seized during the search of Haddan’s residence suggests Haddan’s involvement in similar crimes, which have recently occurred in nearby cities," according to the PPD release. "The law enforcement agencies investigating those incidents have been notified of Haddan’s likely connection to these crimes."
Haddan was booked into the Crawford County Jail on three counts of aggravated robbery related to the three Pittsburg robberies and was being held without bond as of Sunday morning.
In its release Sunday, the Pittsburg Police Department thanked the public for tips and information provided regarding the robbery case and noted that its investigation was ongoing.