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Man who allegedly robbed 2 pharmacies in one day doing what brother did, according to court documents

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
John C. Campbell as seen in a video conference first appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2012.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The Brewer man charged with robbing two pharmacies on the same day may have just been following in his brother’s footsteps.

John C. Campbell Jr., 35, is accused of attempting to rob the Rite Aid in Brewer, then successfully holding up the pharmacy at Hannaford Supermarket on Union Street about an hour and 45 minutes later on Sept. 30.

That was nine days after his brother Timothy Campbell, 33, of Farmington and a woman allegedly robbed a Walmart pharmacy in Farmington, according to documents filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

The elder Campbell also dropped in at the Hannaford Bros. Supermarket on Broadway in Bangor before he headed over to the Union Street store, the affidavit filed in his case said. The document, filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center after Campbell Jr., made his first court appearance Tuesday, outlines his movements the day of the robberies and after.

Campbell Jr. had been staying with his grandparents after an apparent breakup with his girlfriend, who lived in Bangor, the affidavit said. The couple still were spending time together but were not living together.

The girlfriend, who is not being named because she has not been charged in connection with the robberies, dropped Campbell Jr. off at the home of his elderly grandparents on Sargent Drive in Brewer shortly before 3 p.m. Sept. 30, the affidavit said.

The Rite Aid on Wilson Street in Brewer reported a robbery at 3:44 p.m. It is a little more than half a mile from the home of Campbell Jr.’s grandparents, according to Mapquest.

The pharmacy intern working behind the counter at Rite Aid told police a man approached the counter that afternoon wearing a heavy navy or dark blue down coat with the hood up. He showed the intern a note written on a large sheet of paper in blue ink. The intern saw the word “oxycodone” on the paper and believed it was a robbery, according to the affidavit.

The intern told the would-be robber he did not have a key to access oxycodone and would need a pharmacist, who was on the phone, to get the drugs. The man instructed the intern to “get it quickly,” the affidavit said. The intern wrote the word “key” on a note and handed it to the pharmacist, but when he turned around the suspect had left.

Police arrived to investigate the attempted robbery. Four people reported seeing a male matching the would-be robber’s description running by apartments on Colonial Circle in the direction of Sargent Drive. A Maine State Police canine tracked the suspect to the area of Eastern Avenue, Parkway North and Silk Street, which is in the area of Sargent Drive, according to the affidavit.

The grandparents told police on Oct. 1 that Campbell Jr. had arrived at their house shortly before 4 p.m. Sept. 30.

“He was wet and was wearing his navy blue coat,” the affidavit said. “He said he was tired and was going to lay down. A short time later he came out of his room with different clothes on and asked for a trash bag for some clothes.”

The girlfriend told police that Campbell Jr. called her about 4 p.m. and asked her to pick him up at his grandparents home. He was wearing a blue pullover fleece with a half zipper, jeans and black sneakers. The couple went to her residence in Bangor, according to the affidavit.

About 4:45 p.m., Campbell Jr. left in his girlfriend’s car with her bank card to go to the grocery store to pick up some items for supper, she told police. He never returned, according to the affidavit.

The robbery at Hannaford Bros. Supermarket was reported at 5:03 p.m. Sept. 30, the affidavit said. The store’s security video system showed a male hand a note to a pharmacy technician. She gave the robber three bottles of 100-count 15-milligram tablets, the affidavit said.

“[The pharmacy technician] told police that the suspect had communicated that he had a gun and wanted the oxycodones,” the affidavit said.

The man also was captured by security cameras leaving the parking lot in a car identified later as his girlfriend’s, according to the affidavit.

The girlfriend told police that she received a call about 6:50 p.m. from Campbell Jr., who said he was in Orrington “helping a friend who was in serious trouble and that he would be returning shortly,” the affidavit said. “He never did.”

The woman reported to Bangor police at 9:27 p.m. that Campbell Jr. had not returned with her car, bank card or the groceries.

Two days later, the girlfriend told Brewer police that she had received a Facebook message from Campbell Jr. The message said that her car was in Hoboken, N.J., being held by the police there.

“I was actually comin[g] back to give car back when I got pulled over,” the affidavit quoted the message as saying. “I guess [I]’ll stay down here and travel south eventually considering I’m sure [yo]u absolutely hate me and will never forgive me and probably by now have slept with someone else or will soon maybe both I don’t know. I’m in [N]ew York [C]ity now and been here for [a] couple [of] days.”

While driving his girlfriend’s car, Campbell Jr. was stopped by Hoboken police. He was arrested, charged with driving with a suspended license and released on bail. The Bangor woman’s car was impounded.

Campbell Jr. was arrested Oct. 7 at Dysart’s when he stepped off a Greyhound bus from New York City. The affidavit does not explain how police knew he was returning to Maine.

He was charged with two counts of robbery and one count of theft, all of which are Class B crimes. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

He remained Friday at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make bail set at $3,000 cash or $30,000 surety.

Timothy Campbell and Ashley Lake, 27, of Farmington were arrested Sept. 21 within hours of a reported robbery at the Walmart Pharmacy there. Deputies and a police canine with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department tracked them through some woods to a motel near the store, according to a previous report.

Lake allegedly presented a note to the pharmacist demanding oxydcodone and threatening to use a gun. After being given the drugs, the couple were seen running across the parking lot toward the woods, according to a press release issued by the sheriff’s department the day after the robbery.

Most of the stolen drugs were recovered, according to police. No weapon was displayed, nor was one found in the suspects’ possession.

Lake and the younger Campbell were charged with Class B robbery and possession a scheduled drug, a Class C crime. He also was charged with violation of a condition of release, a Class E crime.

Both remained Friday at the Somerset County Jail, which boards arrestees for Franklin County, unable to make bail.

If convicted, each faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the robbery charge alone.


Correction: An early version of this story contained an incorrect age. Timothy Campbell is 33, not 50, making him John C. Campbell's younger brother, not older.

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