Cooperation collars the pajama bandit

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 06:55 PM

Combined efforts of three local agencies led to an arrest in three recent common law “Till Tap” robberies at local pharmacies.

“Till Tap” refers to an over-the-counter theft, which was the method used by the suspect in each of the cases, Detective Wes Tyson of the Union County Sheriff’s Office said.

Daren Michael Williamson, 41, was arrested Thursday in connection with thefts at pharmacies in Matthews, Stallings and Indian Trail.

Around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, a man attempted to steal money from a cash register drawer at the Walgreen’s pharmacy at 5455 Potter’s Road. No one was injured in the incident and the man fled dressed in a coat and pajama bottoms. Around 1:27 a.m. Thursday, a man entered the Walgreen’s pharmacy at 1370 E. Independence Boulevard in Indian Trail and reportedly approached the clerk at the register to pay for an item. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man reportedly tried to grab money from it but the clerk managed to slam the drawer closed before he could. The man then ran from the store in an undetermined direction.

About 1:45 a.m. Thursday, a CVS pharmacy at 1305 Matthews-Township Parkway reported a similar robbery attempt and Matthews police later engaged the suspect in that robbery in a vehicle pursuit on Independence Boulevard toward Charlotte. The suspect’s car crashed near Sardis Road and the suspect jumped out and ran. Officers from the Matthews and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department searched the area with a tracking dog but did not find the suspect. The suspect’s car was later seized by Matthews police and processed for evidence. 

Stallings police later responded to a disturbance at 708 Springhill Drive. Evidence discovered at the location implicated a man at the residence to the common law robberies from earlier in the day. In addition to this, Matthews police independently developed the same individual as a person of interest in connection with their robbery and vehicle pursuit and had given that information to investigators with the Stallings Police Department and Union County Sheriff’s Office, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

Williamson has been charged with two counts of common law robbery and was being held in the Union County Jail without bond Thursday afternoon pending a Feb. 12 District Court appearance. Investigators from the Matthews Police Department are following up with the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Stallings Police Department and additional charges may be coming, according to the statement.

“This arrest is a prime example of what happens when law enforcement agencies work together and exchange information. The investigators from all three agencies shared their progress in the cases with each other, and as a result were able to coordinate their efforts efficiently and effectively to solve these cases quickly,” Chief Deputy Ben Bailey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office said in the statement.