SKOWHEGAN — A suspect who police say was identified from surveillance video was handcuffed and taken into custody after he was found about a mile away from a Rite Aid Pharmacy that was robbed Wednesday afternoon.

Police found the suspect at a house on Pleasant Street and took him back to the pharmacy, where he was searched and taken into custody about an hour after the robbery.

The store at 225 Madison Ave. was robbed at 3:06 p.m. The robber, in a note, demanded drugs from the pharmacy.

“A threat of force was used,” Police Chief Ted Blais said. “I don’t know if he asked for any specific drug, but our guy there, our person of interest so far, apparently was dropping things while he was standing there.”

The identity of the man taken into custody was not available Wednesday evening. Skowhegan police said in a later news release that charges were pending the results of further investigation.

Police said the robber was described as a white male between 5 feet, 6 inches and 6 feet tall wearing a dark jacket and gray hat. The robber fled on foot.

The robbery was captured on surveillance video.

“From the video, they were able to confirm the identity of who they thought it may have been and that’s what led us to that particular guy,” Blais said.

Blais said no weapon was shown during the robbery. Police confirmed in the prepared statement that some prescription drugs were taken.

State and Skowhegan police, Somerset County sheriff’s deputies and agents of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency responded to the robbery.

Law enforcement officers blocked access to the store’s parking area while the search for the robber was conducted. Investigators searched the pavement in front of the store, picking up small items from the ground and depositing them in evidence bags.

There have been several pharmacy robberies in Maine this year, but significantly fewer than the epidemic of robberies in 2012 when 56 pharmacies were robbed. There were two robberies at the Manchester Rite Aid in September, and since Aug. 18 there have been holdups at two Augusta Rite Aids, one at Community Pharmacy inside Goggins IGA in Randolph and another at the Spring Street Rite Aid in Gardiner.

Police have suggested the easy availability of heroin has contributed to the drop in pharmacy robberies to get prescription opiates.

 

Staff writer Even Belanger contributed to this story.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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Twitter: @Doug_Harlow