More charges filed in pharmacy theft

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

RICH SQUARE – Additional charges have been filed against an Aulander man arrested last week in connection with the break-in and larceny of a pharmacy.

Rich Square Police Chief Alan Roye reported that 39-year old Ernest Lee Lane was arrested and charged Monday afternoon with eight felonies – six counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance and two counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver Schedule IV controlled substance.

Those charges, according to Roye, stem from Lane’s original arrest last Thursday. Lane was charged then with felony breaking and entering, larceny, and injury to real property following a crime committed at Futrell’s Pharmacy Service located in downtown Rich Square.

“Because of the amount of medication we found in his possession, the letter of the law allows us to charge him with intent to sell and deliver,” Roye said. “The reason it took until Monday to lodge those charges is because we had to inventory every single pill we found in his possession.”

Following his arrest on Monday, Lane was booked in to the Northampton County Detention Center under a $20,000 bond. He had made bail from the previous bond of $16,000.

In the early morning of last Thursday, Rich Square Police Lt. Kevin L. Byrd responded to an alarm call at the pharmacy, located at 124 South Main Street. Upon his arrival at the rear of the business, Byrd saw a Ford pickup truck lying on its side in a big ditch along Maple Street. He approached the truck and found Lane inside. Lane was taken out of the truck with the assistance of Northampton Sheriff’s Deputy Doug Mann who had arrived to assist Byrd.

Roye said that Byrd then checked the rear door of the pharmacy and found it had been ripped from its hinges. He also discovered extensive damage to an air conditioning unit at the rear of the business and a propane tank had been turned over.

“It was found that the suspect used his truck and a winch to rip the door open and move the air conditioner unit and propane tank out of his way,” Roye said last week.

After the truck was pulled from the ditch, Roye found over $20,000 worth of prescription medications hidden behind the rear seat, allegedly stolen from the pharmacy.

Roye said Lane told him that upon leaving the premises, a vehicle cut him off in the alley behind the pharmacy, causing him to run into the ditch.

Bill Futrell, owner of the pharmacy, said damage was done to a metal door and the door frame as well as a window and the air conditioning unit.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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