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Arrests Made in Pharmacy Robbery

August 22nd, 2013 by WCBC Radio

On Wednesday, 08/21/20013, at approximately 10:00 AM, a lone suspect entered Steve’s Pharmacy in the Bel Air Plaza. The suspect approached the counter and an elderly female customer who was waiting there. The suspect placed something, believed to be a handgun, in the victim’s back and demanded pain killing prescription medication from the pharmacist on duty behind the counter. The suspect produced his own plastic bag and had the pharmacist place the pill bottles in the bag. The suspect then ran out the door and turned toward Rt. 220.

The Maryland State Police responded to the scene. With the assistance of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, a search of the area was conducted. Investigators with the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit (C3I) also responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.

The suspect was described as a white male in his 20’s or 30’s, with thin build. He was wearing a red sweatshirt or jacket, light colored blue jeans, a red toboggan type hat, gloves, and a black cloth or T-shirt over his face in order to try to conceal his identity. When the suspect fled the business, he was observed turning toward the back of the building. Another witness observed a red in color van exit the parking lot of another business, located immediately behind the plaza, at a high rate of speed, and without stopping before entering Rt. 220.

The information concerning the suspect’s description, and the possible suspect vehicle, was immediately broadcast to all law enforcement officers responding to the scene. Due to the close proximity to West Virginia, a Deputy with the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, who was in south Cumberland at the time, started south on Rt. 28 in Wiley Ford in case the suspect fled in that direction. As the Deputy was traveling south on Rt. 28 he observed a van matching the description of the suspect vehicle, occupied by two individuals, pass him, headed in the other direction. He turned around and began to follow the vehicle as MSP helicopter Trooper 5 also followed from the air. The driver of the vehicle turned around at a local business and began driving in a suspicious manner, accelerating and making several turns, in an apparent attempt to lose the Deputy.

While still following the suspect vehicle and awaiting the arrival of West Virginia authorities, the Deputy observed the vehicle pull into a residential neighborhood, and travel down a dead end road before making a U-turn. At that time the Deputy blocked the roadway and awaited the arrival of West Virginia authorities. An officer with the Ridgeley Police Department arrived shortly afterwards.

As the Deputy and the Ridgeley officer made contact with the suspects, Troopers in Trooper 5 observed a red sweatshirt or coat that had been discarded and was lying in the roadway in the same vicinity. The sweatshirt has been recovered as evidence.

As this was happening, C3I Investigators were reviewing store surveillance video. They were able to provide good descriptions of the clothing being worn by the suspect to West Virginia authorities.

A search of the vehicle was conducted by the West Virginia State Police and the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office. Numerous items of clothing matching that worn by the suspect, as well as a BB handgun, were located in the vehicle. A further search in the area led to the recovery of two Steve’s Pharmacy pill bottles containing the same type of medication reported stolen, also discarded along the roadway.

Both suspects were detained at that time and held for questioning. C3I Investigators applied for and obtained arrest warrants for both suspects.

As a result, West Virginia authorities arrested 36 year old Andrew Vincent Crescenzo, of Cumberland, and 29 year old John Mark Self, of Cumberland, as fugitives based on the Maryland warrants. The charges in Maryland include Armed Robbery, Assault, Theft, and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery. Crescenzo and Self are both being held in West Virginia pending their return to Maryland.

Agencies that participated in the investigation include the Maryland State Police, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, MSP helicopter Trooper 5, the West Virginia State Police, the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, the Ridgeley Police, the C3I Narcotics Task Force, and C3I. A Maryland Natural Resources Police K-9 officer, with a trained article dog, also assisted by searching the crime scene, and the area where the suspects were stopped, for items of evidence that may have been discarded by the suspects.

The investigation is continuing by the Maryland State Police and C3I.

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