Arrest made in MDI pharmacy robbery

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 05, 2012, at 10:24 a.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — A local man accused of robbing a Cottage Street pharmacy of drugs was ordered by a judge Wednesday to be held on $5,000 cash bail.

Donald Mace, 28, of Bar Harbor was arrested Tuesday by Bar Harbor police on charges stemming from a Nov. 15 robbery of the local Rite Aid pharmacy. Mace is facing charges of robbery, stealing drugs and violating conditions of release. Robbery, a class B crime, is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine while stealing drugs, a class C crime, is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Police have not identified what kind or quantity of prescription drugs Mace is alleged to have stolen from the pharmacy. Mace was booked at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth following his arrest.

In court on Wednesday, Hancock County Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett told Justice Ann Murray that Mace is on deferred disposition for a felony conviction for operating a motor vehicle after his license had been revoked. She requested that Mace be held on bail of $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety and that, if he makes bail, he be required to adhere to a curfew each night from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and that he be subject to random searches and testing for alcohol and drug possession or use.

Kellett said after the hearing that Mace’s deferred disposition, which has been in place since April, was intended to give Mace incentive to stay out of trouble. If Mace had stayed out of trouble for a full year, he was expected to serve only 60 days in jail for the operating after revocation conviction, she said. Otherwise, Mace was expected to serve nine months and a day behind bars. In either case, she added, Mace also is expected to pay a $1,000 fine for the operating after revocation conviction.

Daniel Pileggi of Ellsworth, serving as Mace’s attorney for Wednesday’s hearing, asked Murray to set a bail at half the amount requested by Kellett. Mace is expected to seek court-appointed counsel, Pileggi told the judge, and hopes to be accepted into a substance abuse counseling program.

Mace, dressed in jail-issued clothing and wearing leg shackles, stood by Pileggi during the hearing.

“Mr. Mace has a fairly significant drug problem,” Pileggi told the judge. “He has no ability to bail himself out at this [financial] level.”

Justice Murray set the bail requested by Kellett.

“These are serious charges,” the judge said. “I’m satisfied that the state’s request is appropriate.”

Murray added that she would be willing to amend Mace’s bail conditions if he is accepted for treatment at a residential drug and alcohol treatment facility.

Murray set a date of Dec. 21 for Mace’s next court appearance, during which he is expected to enter a plea to the charges.

Pileggi declined to comment further after the hearing.

At the time of the robbery, police wrote in an incident summary that the suspect was wearing black sweatpants, a long-sleeve white or beige shirt, a ski mask and a black mask covering his eyes when he demanded oxycodone. Video recorded by a store security camera indicated that the suspect also appeared to be wearing bright blue shoes on his feet, police have said.

“Don’t make me get violent,” the man allegedly wrote in a note he gave a store clerk, police said.

Police have not said whether the suspect may have had a weapon with him at the time of the robbery. Despite police roadblocks that were set up on Mount Desert Island immediately after the incident, police did not apprehend the robber, who ran out of the pharmacy’s back door toward a public parking lot.

Nate Young, Bar Harbor’s police chief, said Wednesday that Mace was arrested Tuesday at his apartment on Ledgelawn Avenue in downtown Bar Harbor. Young said it is unlikely that anyone else will be charged in the case.

“We haven’t completed everything yet, so we can’t rule that out,” Young said.

Despite a spate of drug robberies at pharmacies in other parts of Maine, the robbery of the local Rite Aid is believed to be the first on MDI in recent memory, local police have said.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/12/05/news/hancock/arrest-made-in-mdi-pharmacy-robbery/ printed on December 18, 2014