CAMDEN, Maine — A 26-year-old Camden woman has pleaded not guilty to a charge that she attempted to steal drugs from a Rite Aid pharmacy that been the scene of three robberies in a little more than a year.
Heather Mansfield was arrested Saturday night by Camden police on a robbery charge. On Monday, the district attorney’s office filed a complaint charging her with the lesser offense of attempting to steal drugs.
According to an affidavit filed by Camden police, Mansfield went to the Rite Aid pharmacy in Camden, accompanied by her 8-year-old daughter, and handed the pharmacist a note that stated only “suboxone.”
She told the pharmacist, according to the affidavit, that there were people outside who were going to hurt her if she did not come out with the drug, which is used to treat people who suffer from opiate addiction.
The pharmacist did not hand over the drugs but instead called the police.
When Sgt. Patrick Polky arrived, Mansfield allegedly said that a woman had approached her in the rear parking lot and handed her the note and told her to tell the pharmacy to turn over the drugs or else.
Camden police, assisted by the criminal investigative division of Rockland police, reviewed surveillance tapes and interviewed the woman. The tapes did not show anyone approaching Mansfield. When confronted with that information, Mansfield told police that an acquaintance where she lives had ordered her to get the drugs by using the note. Further investigation did not back up her account, the affidavit stated.
Mansfield also acknowledged to police that she had been tapering off prescribed Suboxone.
Attempting to steal drugs is a Class D crime punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Judge Susan Sparaco set bail at $2,000 cash with the condition that Mansfield not return to any Rite Aid.
Attorney Barry Pretzel represented Mansfield at the initial court appearance held Monday afternoon in Rockland District Court. Pretzel said Mansfield’s family had retained attorney Christopher MacLean of Camden to represent their daughter.
Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne credited heightened security measures and policies to a quick resolution of the case. Gagne said he has been with the Camden Police Department for 23 years and there may have been three robberies in all those years up until the string at Rite Aid in a little more than a year. He said he hopes the new security measures will prevent further robbery attempts.