May 20, 2018
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Woman arrested in connection with 2011 pharmacy robbery in Camden

Courtesy of Knox County Jail
Courtesy of Knox County Jail
Hillary Johnson
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

CAMDEN, Maine — A 23-year-old woman was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with the December 2011 robbery of a Rite Aid Pharmacy.

Hillary J. Johnson was charged with robbery as the result of a tip received this week by Camden police.

In that robbery, a woman allegedly went to the pharmacy and gave a note to the pharmacist reading, “Do what I say and no one will get hurt.” She also allegedly told the pharmacist that if he tried anything she would pull out a gun, though no weapon was ever displayed.

The woman fled with four bottles of oxycodone acetaminophen, according to an affidavit filed with the local district court by Camden Detective Curt Andrick. No one was injured during the robbery.

Based on a tip, Andrick sought information from other police departments on the whereabouts of Johnson or her boyfriend. Rockport police located the boyfriend’s vehicle parked at the Seven Mountains Motel in Rockport. Andrick went to the motel on Wednesday, and after being advised by management that she was there, knocked on the hotel room door.

Johnson answered the door and agreed to talk with the detective in his cruiser along with her 1-year-old daughter. Johnson initially denied committing the robbery, according to the affidavit, but after Andrick said the pharmacist had identified her through a photo lineup, she admitted to committing the crime.

The woman said she wasn’t thinking and that it was a spur of the moment thing, according to the affidavit. She asked whether she would be going to jail for the rest of her life and what would happen with her child, according to the police report.

Andrick did not arrest her at that time but got an arrest warrant and returned Thursday, when she was taken into custody. Johnson was taken to the Knox County Jail in Rockland. On Friday afternoon, she made her initial court appearance in Rockland District Court and bail was set at $10,000 cash or $30,000 surety. Andrick said Friday that the baby was left with the child’s father.

The detective said the case could be turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution at the federal level.

The Rite Aid in Camden was targeted four times by robbers seeking painkillers in 2011 and 2012.

Andrick said the pharmacy has taken steps since then to improve security.

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