East Huntingdon pharmacy robbery suspect arraigned for 5 other robberies
While the hearing for a West Newton man who allegedly robbed a drugstore pharmacy and led police on a car chase on April 15 was continued Wednesday, he was arraigned for the robbery of five other pharmacies.
Zachary Allan Clausner, 32, of 136 Parker Road faces charges of robbery, theft by unlawful taking, terroristic threats, fleeing or attempting to elude police, recklessly endangering another person, tampering with / fabricating physical evidence and reckless driving for the incident that occurred approximately 8:20 p.m. April 15. He was charged before District Judge Charles Moore in Scottdale on April 16.
According to the criminal complaint, Clausner walked into the Rite Aid Store/Pharmacy in East Huntingdon, took a shopping cart, walked to the pharmacy section, handed the pharmacist a note that read: “I have a gun...stay calm. Don't make me hurt you. Give me all your Oxycodone in 15mg, 30mg and any Vic's (Vicodin).”
The pharmacist complied and handed Clausner several bottles of Oxycodone. One of the bottles was a decoy that emits a signal, which tracked police to Clausner's whereabouts and caused a vehicle pursuit that led to Clausner's residence where he surrendered without incident.
Police said Clausner admitted robbing the Rite Aid as well as five other robberies at pharmacies, including two more at the East Huntingdon Rite Aid; one at a Rite Aid in Hempfield; and two at a Walgreens in Hempfield.
• At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, the Rite Aid Store/Pharmacy in East Huntingdon. Clausner walked directly to the pharmacy and handed the pharmacist a note that read: “I have a gun...stay calm. Give me all your Oxycodone 15's and 230's or I'll hurt everybody.” He received 324 15-milligram pills and 322 30-milligram pills, valued at approximately $702.98.
• At 9 p.m. Dec. 6, the Rite Aid Store/Pharmacy in Hempfield. Clausner handed the pharmacist technician a note that read: “Be calm be quiet. I want all your Oxycodone 15 mg's and 30 mg's, I have a gun and will hurt you all.” During that incident, Clausner kept repeating “hurry up and be quiet.” He received 167 15-milligram pills and 147 30-milligram pills, valued at $341.
• At 4:45 p.m. Dec. 23, the Rite Aid Store/Pharmacy in East Huntingdon. At the pharmacy, Clausner handed the pharmacist a note that stated: “Give me Oxycodone in 15 mg's and 30 mg's.” Clausner then said, “I want them all.” He then told the pharmacist he had a gun, walked behind the pharmacy counter and stole two bottles of Oxycodone worth $525 from a small safe and fled the scene.
• At 7:07 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Walgreens Store/Pharmacy in Hempfield. Clausner handed the pharmacist a note that read: “Don't panic, I have a gun, this is serious, I want Oxycodone 5 mg's, 10 mg's, 30 mg's.” He also said, “I have a gun, make it fast.” He received 739 5-milligram pills, 50 10-milligram pills, 214 15-milligram pills, 299 20-milligram pills and 400 30-milligram pills, valued at approximately $2,000.
• At 8:17 p.m. March 14, the Walgreens Store/Pharmacy in Hempfield. Clausner handed a note to the pharmacist stating; “I have a gun, don't panic, give me all your Oxycodone in 10 mg's, 15 mg's and 30 mg's.” The pharmacist reportedly recognized Clausner from the Jan. 16 robbery and handed Clausner 468 15-milligram pills, 642 30-milligram pills and 120 other Oxycodone pills, all valued at approximately $1,300.
During the robberies, Clausner normally wore a hooded sweatshirt and never showed a gun he claimed to have, according to the criminal complaints.
Clausner is in the Westmoreland County Prison with bail set at $100,000.
His preliminary hearings were scheduled for 10 a.m. May 3 before District Judge Mark Mansour and 12:15 p.m. May 8 before Moore.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.