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Man charged in attempted robbery of Orting pharmacy

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:45 am |
November 12, 2009 11:45 am

Pierce County prosecutors have filed attempted robbery charges against a man who tried to rob an Orting pharmacy on a day it was closed.

Prosecutors charged Lonnie M. Smith, 50, with attempted second-degree robbery and second-degree burglary earlier this week. He’s being held in Pierce County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Charging documents provide the following account:

The owner of Copes Pharmacy in Orting told officers that the business was closed Saturday. A man wearing a mask and holding a note came into the store through a back door.

“He asked her if the store was ‘Coles,’” court documents state. “She told him he was in the wrong store and the man left.”

The man’s note fell to the floor. The owner read the note and saw it demanded prescription medications, illegal drugs and cash. The note also indicated there was a gun.

The owner followed the man out of the store and saw him sitting in a white BMW that drove away.

Responding officers stopped the BMW and arrested the driver, identified as Smith. He had a black mask down around his neck. Officers also found gloves, sunglasses, a bottle of Oxycodon and another ski mask in the car.

The owner positively identified Smith as the man who came into the pharmacy.

Smith said he went to the pharmacy to get cough medicine and used the back door because the front door was locked. He initially denied having a robbery note.

“Later, without questioning, the defendant blurted, ‘I can’t believe this. That note was from three months ago and it was meant to be a joke,’” court documents state.

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