Former AU professor pleads guilty to burglary

WASHINGTON– A former American University professor has pleaded guilty to to charges of second-degree burglary and first-degree identity theft.

David Pitts entered the plea Friday in D.C. Superior Court as part of a plea deal.

He was arrested in the fall of 2014 after he broke into a office building near the AU campus and set a series of fires in an attempt to steal prescription medications.

According to court documents submitted 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 lit some newspapers on fire on the ground causing 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 D.C. 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 now faces up to up to 15 years in prison and will be sentenced in mid-March.

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