BY DOUG HARLOW

Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — Police are skeptical but not ruling out the possibility that a call to them 14 minutes before the robbery of a Rite Aid pharmacy Tuesday morning was a diversion.

The Somerset County Communications Center in Skowhegan received a call at 7:53 a.m. Tuesday from a man reporting someone with a high-powered rifle at On the Run, a convenience store at the corner of Pleasant and North streets, in Waterville, said Police Chief Joseph Massey.

The pharmacy robbery was called in at 8:07 a.m.

No man with a gun was found at the convenience store.

The problem, Massey said, is that the convenience store is not far from the Rite Aid pharmacy.

“We thought of the things you’re thinking of — is it a diversion? — well, you’re going to create a diversion 300 feet from the place you’re going to rob and flood the place with cops?” Massey said. “That doesn’t seem logical. It just doesn’t seem like anybody with half a brain would use that as a diversionary tactic just a block and a half away.”

The two suspects in the robbery were caught minutes after it happened, on Pleasant Street.

Massey said dispatchers at Somerset took the call and alerted dispatchers in Waterville. The caller hung up and police have not been able to reconnect.

“We’re looking at it,” Massey said. “We can’t discount it, but haven’t made any connections there.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

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