The man suspected of robbing the Rite Aid pharmacy on Madison Avenue in Skowhegan Jan. 9 turned himself in Friday night at Somerset County Jail in East Madison, according to police.

Damien Towers, 26, of Skowhegan, was arrested and charged with stealing drugs and unlawful possession of drugs, both Class C felonies, Skowhegan police Detective Katelyn Nichols said Sunday. A jail spokesman said his bail is listed at $5,000.

Nichols, who investigated the case, said she has spoken with the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office about charges, but that office has not yet decided to go forward with a robbery charge.

“It’s all in their hands,” Nichols said, adding that she thinks Towers should be charged with robbery. She said she has referred to U.S. Supreme Court case law and feels it supports a charge of robbery in this case.

“I’ve tried everything I can to add the additional charge of the robbery to it, but unfortunately, I’ve been turned down,” she said. “It’s very frustrating for us as law enforcement because this is a robbery. If it’s not defined in the (Maine) criminal codes, we need to see if somebody can fix this.”

Skowhegan police issued an arrest warrant for Towers after a witness identified him as the person who went into Rite Aid at 225 Madison Ave. around 10 a.m. Jan. 9 and reportedly handed the pharmacist a note demanding prescription drugs. According to store surveillance footage, the man left on foot. No weapon was displayed and no one was injured, police said at the time.

Nichols said she interviewed Towers Saturday at the jail, but he would not tell her where he has been for the last two weeks since the crime occurred.

“He would not give me that information. Of course, we can speculate as to where he’s been, but I don’t have any real evidence as to where,” she said.

Nichols said she did not have an address for Towers, who apparently had been couch-surfing before the incident.

She said she was not sure the exact time he turned himself in Friday, but it was near midnight.

Towers is scheduled to appear in Skowhegan District Court at 11 a.m. Monday, according to the jail spokesman.

Nichols said she will talk to the DA’s office and meet with the judge, and they will discuss whether bail is allowed and whether more charges will be filed against Towers.

“He told me yesterday morning he was going to plead guilty to stealing drugs and unlawful possession,” she said. “He knows how to work the system.”

She said Towers is addicted to heroin and is going through a rough time right now.

“He lost his children. He lost his spouse. They’ve all been taken away or left him,” she said.

Nichols said Towers, who has been through the system several times, was cooperative Saturday and confessed to stealing the drugs and unlawfully possessing drugs, but would not admit to committing a robbery and knew he likely was not going to be charged with robbery.

“He kept reiterating to me that he wanted to be arrested. He wanted to be in jail,” she said.

She said no one else was involved in the crime, which Towers indicated he did not plan ahead of time.

“After talking to him yesterday, it sounds like it was a spur of the moment decision,” she said.

Towers was arrested in 2010 and charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. He was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison with all but 60 days suspended and two years probation and ordered to pay $2,550 in restitution.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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