Sunday, March 9, 2014
Staff file video by Andy Molloy Police investigate the Walmart pharmacy robbery on Monday.
AUGUSTA — A city man has been charged with last Monday’s pharmacy robbery at the Walmart on Civic Center Drive.
Jason Truman, 33, has been charged with robbery, Augusta Police Deputy Chief Jared Mills said in a release. Truman was charged Saturday morning by detectives following up on a lead, Mills said.
Truman was being held at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $5,000 cash. He has cooperated with detectives, Mills said.
“At this time it does not appear that Mr. Truman was responsible for the other two robberies at CVS on Capitol Street in Augusta that occurred in recent weeks,” Mills said.
The Capitol Street CVS was robbed of prescription drugs on Nov. 17 and again on Wednesday. Police continue to search for the culprits.
Truman’s arrest follows a five-day probe for a man who walked into to the crowded store around 3 p.m., Monday and went to the pharmacy, where he demanded oxycodone.
The robber reportedly handed an employee a note claiming he had a weapon. The man was said to be in his early 20s, about 6 feet tall with a slim build, weighing between 140 and 160 pounds. He was wearing a dark jacket, blue jeans, dark boots and had a light blue baseball cap with “FBI” in white letters across the front. He also was described as being clean-shaven, having an acne-scarred face and yellow teeth.
Mills said investigators have continued to follow up on leads since the robbery. Then, around 11 p.m., on Friday, they got a lead that lead them to Truman. He was arrested in Augusta early Saturday morning, Mills said.
He said police are familiar with Truman but does not have a significant criminal history. Published reports indicate only a few motor vehicle violations and a marijuana possession charge 10 years ago.
“We haven’t dealt with him a lot,” Mills said.
The investigation into the CVS robberies is ongoing. The Capitol Street store was robbed around 3 p.m., Wednesday by a man described as skinny, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and wearing tan khaki pants, white sneakers, black gloves, a dark sweatshirt with a hood and a dark ski-type mask. The robber handed the employee a threatening note but never claimed to have a weapon, and no weapon was shown, according to police.
The robbery was the third at the CVS store this year and the second of the month. The pharmacy was robbed Nov. 17 by a man said to be 25 to 35 years old, 130 to 135 pounds, with a short scruffy beard, wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, as well as dark face paint, a black hat and camouflage gloves. The man reportedly fled on foot with oxycodone pills after threatening a store employee.
Mills said there may be a connection between the two robberies.
“We’ve interviewed people and gotten some good leads,” he said.
Mills praised the work of his department and other agencies for working quickly to bring charges in the Walmart pharmacy robbery and most of the other eight pharmacy robberies that have occurred in Augusta this year.
“I can’t give them enough credit,” he said. “They all work together and work very hard.”
Truman is expected to make his first court appearance early this week.
Truman, who lived in West Gardiner at the time, was one of two teens injured in a spectacular crash on West River Road in Sidney in August 1999. Truman was thrown 119 feet from the vehicle, according to a Kennebec Journal story on the crash. A 19-year-old passenger was also thrown from the pickup truck.
Police said at the time, the truck was traveling at a high speed before it went out of control and traveled more than 500 feet before coming to rest on a resident’s lawn. Police said drug paraphernalia and alcohol were found in the vehicle.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642