Congress Street in downtown Portland was blocked off for several hours Friday after a man robbed a CVS drugstore claiming to have a bomb and demanding drugs.

Police charged Jason Wayne Campbell, 39, of Portland with robbery Friday. He allegedly robbed the CVS at 510 Congress St. by showing what appeared to be a bomb and saying he was suicidal and needed drugs.

Campbell left with a small amount of narcotics, dropping the device into a trash can outside, police said.

A store clerk recognized Campbell and police went to his house on Alder Street, where he was arrested shortly after the 8:45 a.m. robbery.

Congress Street was blocked off between Brown and Casco streets for 3½ hours once police spotted the bomb-like device in the trash can. The department’s Hazardous Devices Unit was called in to investigate.

After a bomb squad member took an X-ray of the trash can, a robot was used to knock over the can and pick up the device. It appeared to be a backpack with a cellphone attached by wires and what looked like a plastic soda bottle containing liquid.

The items were retrieved by a member of the bomb squad wearing a protective suit. It was determined not to be explosive but made to look like an explosive device, police said.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @Mainehenchman


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