June 24, 2018
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Police say accused Rockland pharmacy robber had been at store two prior times that day

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Bail was set Wednesday afternoon at $20,000 cash for a 42-year-old Cushing man accused of robbing a Rockland pharmacy on Monday afternoon.

Elbert M. Ranquist Jr. entered no plea at his initial appearance in Rockland District Court before Judge Patricia Worth. The bail condition also allows him to be released if he can put up $80,000 in property as an alternative to cash.

The bail was agreed upon between his attorney, Philip Cohen, and Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody.

An affidavit filed by Maine Drug Enforcement agents James Pease and Scott Quintero stated that Curtis Jensen, owner of Jensen’s Pharmacy, reported that he had been robbed by Ranquist. Jensen said he recognized Ranquist because he had been in the pharmacy two times earlier in the day to pick up prescriptions for himself and his wife.

Jensen said he recognized Ranquist by his appearance, voice and walk.

According to the affidavit, Ranquist went to the counter, pulled out a knife with a 4-to-5-inch long blade and demanded oxycodone pills. He then fled the store. The criminal complaint stated that Ranquist stole 10 5-milligram oxycodone pills.

Another witness reported seeing a pink Jeep Wrangler parked in back of the Breakwater Marketplace where Jensen’s Pharmacy is located. Ranquist drives such a Jeep, which was found when Pease and Quintero arrived at his Cushing home shortly after the robbery. The hood of the vehicle was still hot when officers arrived, the affidavit stated.

Ranquist was in the home, along with his wife. He denied robbing the store but at one point asked Quintero whether he was going to get 10 years for this.

His wife told officers that Ranquist had been taking oxycodone but had been out of it for a few days and was in a lot of pain. Ranquist acknowledged to officers that he had been taking too many of the pills.

A knife, similar to the one reported at the robbery, was located at the home. A pair of sneakers that looked like the ones being worn by the robber as shown on the store’s surveillance video also was found, according to the affidavit.

Ranquist was on probation for an arson in Rockland. His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 26.

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