Two men charged in a would-be Enon Rite Aid robbery are also being investigated in connection with a string of other Rite Aid robberies in the area.
James P. Taylor, 21, of Dayton, pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing official business in Clark County Municipal Court on Monday. Dasean Whitehead, 19, of Cincinnati pleaded not guilty to possession of criminal tools.
Officers were called just before 12:30 p.m. on Friday to the pharmacy at 101 W. Main St. on a report of a possible robbery about to occur.
Lt. Mike Holler of the Enon Police Department said the department warned Rite Aid employees prior to the incident of the string of recent robberies in the area.
On Friday, two men entered the store and were acting suspiciously, Holler said.
“One of them had his hand in his coat, standing in line at the pharmacy,” he said.
As police were arriving, they found two men leaving the store who matched an employee’s description. One was taken into custody in the Rite Aid parking lot, and after a short foot chase, the second was taken into custody as well.
Police recovered a BB gun from Whitehead, as well as a note demanding oxycodone pills and bottles of codeine, according to an affidavit filed in the case. The note read in part, ‘Do not lose your life!!,’ although the note was never passed to an Enon Rite Aid employee, according to the document.
If employees had waited any longer to call police, the suspects could’ve been long gone, Holler said.
“By their efforts and their quick timing, we were able to apprehend two people for what would’ve potentially been a robbery,” he said.
Police said Taylor gave officers a fake name when he was taken into custody.
Enon police said investigators are working with multiple agencies to determine whether the pair is connected to any similar pharmacy robberies in the area, although they did not want to name specific agencies.
In court Monday, Whitehead also pleaded not guilty to robbery relating to an incident at a Springfield Rite Aid on Aug. 16.
According to court documents, officers responded to the South Limestone Street business on a report of robbery. Multiple officers went to the location, but weren’t able to locate the suspect who had fled on foot and made off with a bag of assorted drugs.
An affidavit states after Whitehead’s arrest in Enon on Friday, a Springfield Police Division detective went to the Clark County Jail to question Whitehead, where he “confessed” to the Springfield robbery.
Miami Valley law enforcement officers have also investigated robberies at pharmacies in Park Layne, Xenia, Dayton, Harrison Twp., Franklin, and Brookville, among other communities, since June.
Whitehead’s bond was set at $17,500 for the two charges. Taylor’s bond was set at $1,000. The men are being held in the Clark County Jail.