Suspect in Corinth pharmacy robbery arrested

Posted April 25, 2012, at 7:33 p.m.
Last modified April 25, 2012, at 8:22 p.m.
Tanya Strout
Tanya Strout

BANGOR, Maine — A Kenduskeag woman was arrested by the Maine State Police Wednesday afternoon in connection with a pharmacy robbery in Corinth on Jan. 4 in which police said a large amount of OxyContin was taken.

Tanya Leigh Strout, 38, is charged with one count each of Class B robbery and Class C theft of drugs, Penobscot District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said Wednesday.

After her arrest by Troopers Matthew Grant and Jared Stedman, Strout was taken to the Penobscot County Jail, Almy said.

If convicted, Strout faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the felony robbery charge and up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 on the felony drug theft charge.

According to state police, Strout is suspected of robbing Community Pharmacy, located inside Whitney’s Family Supermarket. Formerly known as Tradewinds Marketplace, the complex is located at 689 Main St.

According to state police, the robber presented a note stating that she had a weapon and would shoot if the clerk went anywhere near a telephone. A weapon never was displayed.

The incident was captured by surveillance cameras inside and outside the pharmacy, Almy said.

The suspect initially was described as standing between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. But police later said she likely weighed between 140 and 160 pounds and that she appeared to be heftier because she was wearing several layers of clothing, including two dark-colored hooded sweatshirts, with the hood of one of them pulled up tightly over her head and covering most of her face.

Shortly after police released surveillance images from the robbery to Maine media outlets, investigators received numerous tips leading to Strout, most of them based on her appearance, the clothing she was wearing “and in particular, her gait,” Almy said, referring to her distinctive way of walking.

Almy said assistance from the public also led police to the alleged getaway car, a Chrysler Sebring convertible belonging to Strout’s boyfriend, who as of Wednesday had not been charged in connection with the robbery.

Inside the car, state police found half of the piece of paper on which Strout allegedly wrote the note demanding drugs, Almy said.

Though Strout was identified as the suspect shortly after the robbery, Almy said, police held off on arresting her until testing at the state crime lab in Augusta confirmed that the portion of paper found in the car was an exact match to the piece left at the pharmacy.

Further testing in the crime lab turned up Strout’s fingerprints on the paper, Almy said.

Strout’s arrest on Wednesday was not her first, according to court listings in the Bangor Daily News archives.

She was fined $250 and ordered to pay $250 in restitution in 2008 for convictions of forgery and theft by receiving stolen property. In 2007, she was fined $250 for driving with a suspended or revoked license, and $1,000 for two counts of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer in 2007.

Strout also was fined $250 in 2006 for a conviction of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer.

Almy said Wednesday that the Corinth pharmacy robbery remains under investigation and that charges against a possible accomplice or accomplices may be forthcoming.

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