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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Friday, March 20, 2015

District Man Sentenced to a Year in Prison For Burglary of Office Complex

Defendant Intended to Steal Prescription Medications, Other Items

            WASHINGTON – David Pitts, 38, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a year and a day in prison on charges stemming from an incident in which he broke into an office building in Northwest Washington after setting a series of fires, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

            Pitts pled guilty in January 2015, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of second-degree burglary and first-degree identity theft. He was sentenced by the Honorable Zoe Bush. Judge Bush sentenced Pitts to a total of two years in prison on the charges, but suspended all but a year and a day of the time. Following completion of his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.

            According to a proffer of facts Pitts agreed to at the plea hearing, on Sept. 4, 2014, at about 12:50 a.m., Pitts set a chair and bottles on fire near the parking attendant booth of the parking garage at an office complex in the 3300 block of New Mexico Avenue NW. The fire destroyed the chair and caused damage to the attendant booth. He then walked to another part of the complex and twice lit some newspapers on fire on the ground; this caused no damage.

            Minutes later, Pitts walked to a wooded area near the adjacent Embassy Park complex and set another small fire. This fire grew, and had to be extinguished by the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

            After setting the fires, Pitts entered the office building on New Mexico Avenue, which houses doctors’ offices and a pharmacy, with the intent to steal prescription medications, controlled substances, and prescription pads. He was arrested at the scene. A subsequent search of the defendant’s apartment led to the recovery of over 5,300 pills, blank prescription pads from at least nine different doctors’ offices, and other items. Many of the blank prescription pads were for doctors who had offices in the complex. Additional blank prescription pads were found in a search of the defendant’s office.

            Pitts also faces multiple charges of second-degree burglary, theft and destruction of property in Montgomery County, Md.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department, the Montgomery County, Md. Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. He also expressed appreciation for the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittain Shaw, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bruckmann, who prosecuted the matter.

Press Release Number: 
Updated April 8, 2015