Since September 2010, there have been six pharmacy robberies in Knox County, an increase that follows similar trends across the state and nation.

In all these cases, the person was seeking prescription pills.

On Sept. 9, 2014, Donald Keating Jr., 55, of Owls Head was arrested after police said he entered Kennebec Pharmacy & Home Care on Commercial Street in Rockport at approximately 4:30 p.m. with a paper bag over his head with two holes cut out of it so he could see. Keating demanded drugs from pharmacy staff and was able to flee the scene before police arrived, according to the affidavit. [See related story].

A 23-year-old Rockport mother pleaded guilty to robbing the Camden Rite Aid Pharmacy in 2011 and was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison Aug. 25.

Hillary J. Johnson robbed the pharmacy in December 2011 of four bottles of oxycodone, and threatened to use a gun if she was not given drugs, said a police affidavit. The case remained unsolved until new information surfaced and Johnson was charged in February for class B robbery.

Elbert M. Ranquist Jr., 43, of Cushing was sentenced Sept. 4 to serve 43 months in a federal prison for an August 2013 robbery at Jensen's Pharmacy in Rockland. Ranquist was also ordered to enroll in a 500-hour comprehensive drug treatment program, according to court documents. Ranquist, who used a knife during the incident, had been in the pharmacy earlier that day and was identified by staff following the robbery.

A 29-year-old South Thomaston man was sentenced in August 2013 to seven years in prison with all but 21 months suspended after pleading guilty to robbing Jensen's Pharmacy in July 2012. Michael Willis was convicted of Class B robbery and unlawful possession of oxycodone. For the robbery count, Willis was sentenced to serve seven years in prison, and for the unlawful possession of drugs count, he was sentenced to 24 months in prison. Two counts, Class A aggravated trafficking in drugs, and stealing drugs were dismissed. Willis will serve three years probation upon his release.

An appeal to the public for assistance in identifying a person who allegedly robbed approximately 400 OxyContin pills from the Kennebec Pharmacy in Rockport on Nov. 8, 2011, paid off two days later when police arrested a Camden resident. William Glaude, 30, was charged with robbery, stealing drugs, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and unlawful possession of oxycodone.

Sean Higgins, 29, of Camden was sentenced to nearly four years in prison after being convicted of robbing the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Camden on Aug. 2, 2012. He was arrested in Norwich, Conn., four days later after being picked up by police in that state on an unrelated charge.

In May 2012, a 24-year-old Rockland man was sentenced to five years in prison for a Sept. 20, 2010, robbery at the Rite Aid in Rockland, during which he brandished a machete. Joshua Powell was sentenced in Knox County Superior Court to 14 years behind bars with all but five years suspended for robbery. He also pleaded guilty to stealing drugs and criminal threatening. Powell was also charged with assault while being held at jail. Police said he was consuming the pills while still in the store.

A Washington man was arrested in connection with the break-in at the now-closed Waltz Pharmacy in Waldoboro that occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2010. Christopher Andrews, 31, was arrested after a joint investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Waldoboro Police Department and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, according to the sheriff's report.

Andrews was charged with two counts of Class C burglary involving Waltz Pharmacy in Waldoboro and the Sheepscot Health Center in Coopers Mills on Oct. 9.

Andrews was also charged with Class A robbery in connection with a strong-armed robbery at the Country Corners Market in Coopers Mills on Oct. 11.

Courier Publications Copy Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at klincoln@villagesoup.com.