Authorities are seeking a Belgrade man with a lengthy criminal record who they say robbed a Manchester pharmacy earlier this month.

Thomas G. Bourque, 31, is the suspect in the Aug. 3 robbery of the Rite-Aid pharmacy on U.S. Route 202, according to Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

An arrest warrant has been signed for Bourque, who Kennebec Journal archives show has been convicted of assaulting an officer and several driving offenses, including operating under the influence and driving to endanger.

Reardon said Bourque “is known to be a player in the drug game, specifically opiates.”

Bourque was the lone survivor of a 2011 crash in Gardiner that killed his relatives Dennis Kay, 62, of Gardiner, and Kay’s grandson, Carlton Norwood, 25, of Pittston. All were couriers for a local rental company. Kay was driving the van, but he had a suspended license.

Recently, Bourque sued multiple parties, including rental companies and representatives of his relatives’ estates, in Kennebec County Superior Court for damages and reimbursement for medical bills, saying he is still suffering from physical and mental injuries, including depression an post-traumatic stress disorder because of the crash.

One of Bourque’s attorneys in that case, Philip Mancini, said he wasn’t aware of whether Bourque developed an opiate addiction or that there was a warrant for his arrest, declining to say where he is and not commenting further.

Arount noon on Aug. 3, a man in his late 20s demanded prescription drugs at the Rite Aid, kept a hand in his sweatshirt and said he had a gun.

He left with an undisclosed amount of oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, and methylphenidate, a drug used to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Police said he fled on foot toward Winthrop, on a side of the building without security cameras.

Reardon said he couldn’t be specific about his office’s evidence in the case, but it includes DNA. Police attempted to find Bourque at an area residence on Wednesday, he said, but they couldn’t find him.

The Manchester robbery was the first such robbery in the Augusta area this year and the second time the pharmacy had been robbed since 2011.

In 2012, there were a record 58 pharmacy robberies in Maine, and Augusta alone had a statewide high of nine. Those crimes have plunged since, which many have attributed to heroin becoming a cheaper substitute for people addicted to prescription painkillers.

But on Monday morning, a man robbed a pharmacy inside Goggin’s IGA on Randolph’s Water Street, threatening to shoot everyone inside if he wasn’t given prescription drugs. That crime appears to be unrelated to the Manchester robbery, Reardon said.

Staff Writer Craig Crosby contributed to this report.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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