May 26, 2018
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Fairfield armed robber arrested after second pharmacy heist in a week

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

FAIRFIELD, Maine — A local transient allegedly held up a pharmacy and escaped with drugs for the second time this week, but this time he was nabbed by police.

Shawn Michael Merrill, 26, the same man who robbed the Waterville Walmart pharmacy earlier this week and fled with oxycodone pills, was up to the same tricks Friday afternoon, this time at a Rite-Aid in Fairfield, according to Fairfield police Chief John Emery.

The chief said Merrill walked into the Main Street establishment, wandered around for a bit and approached the pharmacist’s counter with a note demanding drugs.

Merrill also had a firearm in his waistband and displayed it “at least on two separate occasions,” said Emery.

Merrill managed to get away with a bottle and a half of 30mg oxycodone pills, got into a car and fled towards Waterville.

Emery said police blocked off several areas in town while a State Police K-9 attempted to track Merrill without success.

Later Friday afternoon, Emery said state police got a tip that Merrill was still in the area, and when they spotted his motorcycle, he took off and led them on a pursuit into Windsor, where he was captured after a brief foot pursuit.

Emery said that Waterville police had obtained an arrest warrant for him in the wake of the Walmart incident. Nobody was injured in Friday’s robbery, which continued the epidemic of pharmacy robberies throughout the state this year.

“Between that and bank robberies there’s no doubt in my mind it’s for the same reason, it’s all drug-related,” said Emery. “There’s got to be an answer here to stop these things from happening.”

Department of Public Safety Spokesman Stephen McCausland said more details will be forthcoming.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly named Fairfield's police chief as Joseph Emery. He is John Emery.

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