Rockport woman charged with 2011 Rite Aid robbery

By Juliette Laaka | Feb 07, 2014
Courtesy of: Camden Police Department

Rockland — A 23-year-old Rockport woman has been charged with robbing the Camden Rite Aid in 2011 when she threatened to use a gun if she was not given drugs.

Hillary J. Johnson was charged with class B robbery Feb. 6 by Camden Police after new information surfaced regarding the case.

Johnson robbed the pharmacy in December 2011 of four bottles of oxycodone, said a police affidavit filed in court.

When speaking with Detective Curt Andrick, Johnson told him she had been a drug addict for six years but initially denied robbing the pharmacy after seeing a photograph of herself at the store during the robbery. She then became distressed and wanted to know who told on her. Johnson also said she was nervous about going to jail for a long time, said the affidavit.

Johnson told police she robbed the pharmacy because at the time she had the adrenaline to do it, but added she instantly regretted it.

Johnson is expected to make an initial appearance in court Feb. 7. She is currently being held at Knox County Jail in $10,000 cash bail or $30,000 surety.

According to previously published reports, Dec. 7, 2011, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a female approached the pharmacy counter and demanded drugs. The woman, described as being in her late teens or early 20s, was between 5 feet and 5 feet 5 inches tall and 105 to 110 pounds.

The woman made a threat to the pharmacist that she had a weapon and passed a note seeking drugs, according to Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne. The woman was wearing a dark-colored Adidas hooded sweatshirt and a green baseball cap. No weapon was displayed, police said. The woman was given an undisclosed number of pills and she then exited the building

Camden and Rockport police as well as the Knox County Sheriff's Office and the Rockland Police Criminal Investigative Division worked the case.

There were three pharmacy robberies in the area in 2011. Earlier in the day Dec. 7, Sean Higgins, 29, of Camden was sentenced in Knox County Superior Court to four years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing the same Rite Aid pharmacy in August. Higgins will also be on probation for two years after his release. He was ordered to pay $1,972 in restitution to Rite Aid.

The pharmacy was also robbed March 10, 2011, with a man stealing more than 100 Oxycontin and Ritalin pills. The person, who displayed a large hunting-type knife, was not captured by police, even after rewards were offered in the case.

William Glaude, 30, of Camden was arrested two days after police said he robbed the Kennebec Pharmacy in Rockport Nov. 8, 2011. No weapon was displayed at the time, but the man did pass a note demanding drugs and made off with between 300 and 400 Oxycontin pills.

In 2012, there was an unsuccessful robbery attempt made at Rite Aid in April and another completed robbery in July, according to Camden Herald archives.

In recent years, there have been increased security measures and new procedures for pharmacy staff, Andrick said Feb. 7. In addition, the severity of punishment has also increased, he said, with some cases rising to the level of prosecution by the U.S. District Attorney's Office.

Camden Herald Editor Stephanie Grinnell contributed to this report.

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