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Suspect ID'd in 2009 Harrison pharmacy burglary

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 12:42 a.m.

Allegheny County police have identified a suspect in a 2009 pharmacy burglary, thanks to DNA found on recovered drug bottles.

County Detective Robert Opferman recently filed felony burglary and other charges against Mark Morkin, 31, of Carlisle in the smash-and-grab burglary of the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Harrison on Dec. 14, 2009.

A warrant has been issued for Morkin's arrest.

Harrison police at the time of the burglary said the thief apparently was in search of the painkiller oxycodone when he smashed a drive-through window at the Freeport Road store shortly before midnight.

According to court documents filed by Opferman on Dec. 6, 2012, police found prescription bottles scattered in nearby yards and neighboring Mt. Airy Cemetery while searching the area surrounding the pharmacy for the burglar.

Noticing that some of the bottles appeared to have blood on them, police submitted the bottles to the Allegheny County Crime Lab for analysis.

A DNA profile was developed in August 2010 and, in October 2011, matched to Morkin, whose information was in the state police databank for a previous conviction, Opferman wrote.

Morkin reportedly worked on the Medicine Shoppe's computer system before the burglary.

According to court records, Morkin has pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Cumberland County, intent to possess drugs in Allegheny County and theft in Butler, Mercer and Washington counties.

It was unclear why charges weren't filed until more than a year after the match was made. Opferman and Harrison police Chief Mike Klein could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Morkin is charged with burglary, theft, trespassing and criminal mischief in the Medicine Shoppe incident.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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