Police have arrested two people they believe are connected to five of the eight pharmacy robberies reported in Spokane County since Jan. 1, including the most recent robbery at the Albertsons on Indian Trail Road on Wednesday.
Phillip J. Powlus, 35, was ordered held on $20,000 cash bond on charges of second-degree robbery and delivery of a controlled substance. Jacy L. Thomson, 33, is being held on $10,000 cash bond on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. Two additional charges of robbery were filed against Thomson on Thursday.
The two were arrested several hours after the most recent robbery Wednesday. Court documents state that the two, identified as boyfriend and girl- friend, were pulled over at Division Street and Magnesium Road. Documents say Thomson hid a bag of 171 oxycontin pills in her vagina; the pills were discovered when she was taken to the hospital for being under the influence of narcotics.
Police Capt. Brad Arleth said Thomson is believed to have committed robberies at the Albertsons at 12312 N. Division St., the Safeway at 3919 N. Market St. and the Fred Meyer at 400 S. Thor St. Powlus is a suspect in robberies at the Albertsons at 8851 E. Trent Ave. and the Albertsons on Indian Trail.
The same getaway car, a silver SUV, was identified in several of the robberies. Police determined the car was borrowed, and the owner was paid in oxycodone pills, Arleth said.
The police received more than 70 tips about the robberies, and several of them were key in identifying the suspects arrested Wednesday, Arleth said. “Tips were important,” he said. “That’s something we always rely on and appreciate.”
Powlus has five felony convictions – for residential burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of prescription medication without a prescription, manufacture/deliver/possession with intent to deliver and conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Thomson has five felony convictions – for first-degree robbery, three counts of second-degree robbery and first-degree theft.