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Charges against man in pharmacy robberies tranferred to circuit court

April 21, 2010|By DON AINES

HAGERSTOWN -- The cases against a Smithsburg man charged with demanding drugs from pharmacies in Maryland and Pennsylvania while claiming to have a bomb have been transferred from Washington County District Court to Washington County Circuit Court.

Stephen Edward Munson, 29, of 13760 Franks Run Road, appeared Wednesday in District Court for a scheduled preliminary hearing, but the hearing was not held. Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Michael said later that the cases were consolidated and moved to circuit court.

In a grand jury indictment dated April 13, Munson is charged with two counts of robbing the Rite Aid at 825 Hillcrest Road of five bottles of OxyContin pills on March 22 and two counts of attempted robbery of the CVS/pharmacy at 1519 Potomac Ave. on March 29.

The indictment also charges Munson with four counts of displaying a written instrument claiming to possess a dangerous weapon; two counts of falsely threatening to detonate a destructive device; two counts of threatening in writing to explode a destructive device in a structure; one count of theft between $1,000 and $10,000; and five counts of second-degree assault, according to court records.

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Munson also is charged by the Greencastle (Pa.) Police Department with attempted armed robbery of the Rite Aid pharmacy at 200 N. Antrim Way on March 29.

The March 29 attempted robbery at the CVS/pharmacy in Hagerstown was reported at 12:08 p.m., and the attemped robbery at the Greencastle Rite Aid was reported 28 minutes later, according to police in both states. Munson was arrested shortly after 1 p.m. at Forty West Landfill, after a brief chase with police.

In all three of the incidents, a man entered the pharmacies carrying a cooler, according to the statements of probable cause filed by Hagerstown police and Greencastle Police Chief John Phillippy. The man handed a note to pharmacy employees stating there was a bomb in the cooler and that he would set it off if he did not get the painkillers.

Munson was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on $125,000 bail, a detention center official said.

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