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November 26, 2012

Robber hits Augusta Walmart pharmacy on Monday, flees with oxycodone

Incident marks 52nd pharmacy robbery in Maine this year, more than double 2011's total

Staff video by Andy Molloy: Police investigate the robbery of the Walmart pharmacy, at the Marketplace at Augusta, on Monday.

By Craig Crosby
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- A man dressed in blue and wearing an FBI baseball hat was on the run Monday after robbing the pharmacy inside the Walmart on Civic Center Drive in the afternoon, police said.

click image to enlarge

A security camera photo of a man who robbed the pharmacy of the Walmart in Augusta on Monday. He was was described as a young, white man about 5 feet 7 inches tall and wearing a blue coat and a blue baseball cap.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

click image to enlarge

Augusta Police officer Niko Hample, left, and Sgt. Daniel Boivin, center, confer with State Trooper Rick Moody as they prepare to track a man who robbed the pharmacy of the Walmart in Augusta on Monday. Police followed a tracking dog who picked up the scent of the robber, who fled with drugs toward Civic Center Drive.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

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Augusta police Lt. Keith Brann said no one was hurt during the robbery, which occurred shortly before 1 p.m. The robber, who suggested he had a weapon, fled the store on foot and headed toward Civic Center Drive.

The robbery was the 52nd in the state this year, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. That is more than double the 24 robberies reported last year, which was a record year for such offenses. There were 21 pharmacy robberies in 2010.

Monday afternoon, a Maine State Police trooper and his dog tracked the man's scent for a distance down a steep embankment behind the store but eventually lost the robber's trail. Brann said police believe the robber later got into a car.

The store remained open for business during the afternoon as police investigated the hold-up and searched for the robber.

The man waited in line at the pharmacy and when he got to the counter, he handed the employee a note demanding OxyContin and suggesting he had a weapon, Brann said.

Brann would not say what kind of weapon the man claimed to have, but said witnesses did not see a weapon.

The robber was given an undisclosed number of pills before fleeing, Brann said.

Police described the robber as a white man in his early 20s and about 6 feet tall with a slim build. He was wearing a blue coat and blue baseball cap with FBI on it in white. He was not wearing a mask and had no facial hair.

A little more than a week ago, on Nov. 17, the CVS pharmacy on Capitol Street was robbed. The robber, 25 to 35 years old, reportedly threatened the employee and was given oxycodone before fleeing on foot.

Police have not charged anyone in connection with that robbery, but one person is facing charges in connection with a Oct. 23 hold-up at Rite Aid on North Belfast Avenue. Dylan Karczewski, 19, of Augusta, was charged that night with robbery and theft.

Police said Karczewski said he had chemicals and would blow up the building. He was given prescription medication and fled into the store's bathroom. The store was evacuated and there was a brief standoff before police determined Karczewski had no chemicals.

Brann asked anyone with information about Monday's robbery, or the Nov. 17 CVS robbery, to call police at 626-2370.

Craig Crosby -- 621-5642

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Additional Photos

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Police follow Maine State Trooper Rick Moody's canine Monday while tracking the man who robbed the pharmacy of the Walmart in Augusta. The suspect demanded drugs and fled toward Civic Center Drive.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy


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