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Suspect in Brewer, Bangor pharmacy robberies identified

Posted Oct. 03, 2012, at 5:54 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 03, 2012, at 10:06 p.m.
John C. Campbell
Brewer Police Department
John C. Campbell
People wait in line for the Hannaford on Union Street in Bangor to reopen after police arrived to investigate reports of a pharmacy robbery at that location on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012.
People wait in line for the Hannaford on Union Street in Bangor to reopen after police arrived to investigate reports of a pharmacy robbery at that location on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012. Buy Photo

BREWER, Maine — Brewer police have identified a suspect in two of the three pharmacy robberies that occurred within less than two hours of one another Sunday afternoon.

John C. Campbell, 35, of Brewer is wanted on two counts of robbery and one count of theft, all of which are Class B felony charges, Brewer Public Safety Director Perry Antone announced Wednesday afternoon during a news conference at the city’s police station.

After consulting with the Penobscot District Attorney’s Office and court officials, a warrant for Campbell’s arrest was issued on Wednesday, he said.

Campbell has been charged in connection with Sunday’s attempted robbery at the Rite Aid on Wilson Street in Brewer and the robbery of the Hannaford grocery store pharmacy on Union Street in Bangor that happened a little more than an hour later, Antone confirmed.

Antone said Campbell fled the Brewer drugstore empty-handed. Antone was not sure if Campbell made off with any prescription drugs during the Hannaford heist.

Antone said that state police Trooper Barry Merserve and his tracking dog, Zorro, were brought to Brewer just after the robbery there and were able to determine the alleged robber’s last direction of travel.

That, he said, turned out to be important later, when police learned that that suspect had lived in the area where the track ended on Sargent Drive, a short side street that runs off Eastern Avenue, a short distance away from Rite Aid.

Antone said information and evidence that detectives collected at the Brewer crime scene enabled police to link that robbery to the one at Hannaford.

Antone said the felony theft charge stems from his taking a 2010 Toyota Scion from its owner under “circumstances that weren’t exactly what he portrayed them to be.”

The Scion was recovered undamaged Tuesday in New Jersey, where Campbell was pulled over for driving with a suspended license, arrested and then allowed to make bail, Antone said. He said arrangements are being made to return the vehicle to its owner.

The recovery of the alleged getaway car “led us to some of the information we had in the affidavit that led to the arrest warrant,” Antone said.

Antone said police believe Campbell may be in New York City or elsewhere in New York state. He said police do not think Campbell has family or friends in that area but rather that he was trying to get as far away from the crime scenes as he could.

Jeffrey Macy, 46, of Eastbrook was arrested within minutes of the robbery Sunday afternoon of the Rite Aid pharmacy at Union and Fourteenth streets in Bangor.

Despite the unusual timing of the three robberies, Antone said police have concluded the suspects were not working together.

“We’ve found no connection at all between the two,” he said.

Antone and Brewer police Capt. Christopher Martin credited the success of the investigation that led to Campbell being charged to a joint effort that involved law enforcement officers from Brewer, Bangor, the Maine State Police, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Bangor task force.

Anyone with information about Campbell’s whereabouts is urged to call the Bangor or Brewer police departments.

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