Another pharmacy was robbed in Central Maine Tuesday morning. Waterville police say they quickly arrested the men who are responsible.
Rite Aid on Main Street in Waterville became the 37th Maine pharmacy to be robbed this year.
Police say 19-year-old Carl Hunter and 34-year-old Lance Vachon, both from Waterville, walked in at around 8:00 a.m. wearing hoods, baseball caps, and dark sunglasses. "When they went by, the first clerk stationed closest to the door, she actually asked them to remove their cap and their hood and their sunglasses. They ignored her and walked toward the back of the pharmacy," said Waterville Police Chief Joe Massey.
Once they reached the pharmacy, police say the men handed the clerk a note saying they would start shooting if they weren't given drugs. The two men took the drugs and fled the store. "The clerk who initially asked them to remove their hoods, their cap and their sunglasses, called us immediately which allowed us to get an officer on scene within seconds," Massey said.
That officer says he spotted Hunter running into an apartment building on Pleasant Street where he was found by police, who handcuffed and detained him.
Police say Lance Vachon was found by another officer hiding in the bushes nearby. "Detectives got on the scene, they took a look at the video surveillance, they talked to the employees, they quickly were able to establish that these were the two guys that were in the store that just robbed it," Massey said.
Waterville police also used a K-9 unit from the Kennebec County Sheriff's department to link the suspects to the robbery.
Approximately two hours after the robbery occurred, police say they had the two men responsible in custody. "It was very pleasing that the attentive clerks were able to call us immediately," Massey said. "They were very suspicious based on the way these individuals were dressed and called us immediately, which allowed us to respond very quickly. It's concerning. I'm very concerned that one of these robberies will end up with someone getting hurt."
Hunter and Vachon have both been charged with robbery. Both are in the Kennebec County Jail.
This is the 37th pharmacy robbery in Maine this year. Last year there were 28, and in 2008 there only two. In May, Chief Massey developed a pharmacy robbery training program that was offered to local pharmacists and their associates. The program helped the pharmacies develop a plan for what they could do before, during, and after a robbery. "If nothing else it created a higher awareness that they could be a target of a robbery," Massey said.
Two Men In Custody After Waterville Rite Aid Robbed This Morning