Indiana led the nation in pharmacy robberies last year, but detective work by local law enforcement agencies and the FBI led to the arrests of three people who could be to blame for several of them.
The pictures and video of a CVS robbery in Mooresville last Halloween show two masked men who worked like professional criminals threaten the clerk and pharmacist with guns before quickly cleaning out a safe full of drugs.
“They took approximately $39,000 to $40,000 worth of prescription medications,” said detective Chad Richhart with the Mooresville Police Department.
It took nearly a year of investigating, but thanks to a tip from the FBI, Mooresville police have identified the two men as 34-year-old Bolton Thurman and 37-year-old Aaron Johnson.
They also charged 34 year-old Dixie Thurman, Bolton Thurman’s wife, in relation to the crime after spotting video of her entering the store 30 minutes before the robbery.
“We noticed this early on in the investigation,” Richhart said, referencing the video. “We had no idea who she was, but thought that it was odd that she’s in there for about two minutes and then exits the business without purchasing any items.”
Bolton Thurman and Aaron Johnson were also recently charged in relation to a similar November robbery at a CVS in Marion. According to Mooresville police, a recent search warrant found evidence that suggests the Thurman’s are exactly the type of professional criminals they appeared to be on video.
“They may possibly be linked to some other CVS robberies in the area, and also maybe as far as Ohio,” Richhart said.
Detectives still don’t know how many CVS stores the three may have targeted, but Richhart says they appear to have picked the Mooresville store because of the layout of its pharmacy.
“Our layout seems to match the layout of some of the other CVS’s that have been robbed, so it was something about this particular CVS that they liked and that they would target,” Richhart said.
The arrests offer hope in a huge battle against pharmacy robberies in Indiana. Indiana led the country with 97 pharmacy robberies in 2012. Arizona was second with 56 robberies.
In this case, cooperation between crime fighting professionals, including Mooresville police, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI appears to have been the difference.
“Kind of nice to see all levels of law enforcement working together,” Richhart said.
Bolton Thurman and Aaron Johnson both face charges of armed robbery, criminal confinement and intimidation. Dixie Thurman faces two counts of aiding, inducing or causing an armed robbery.