31 Dec Man Charged in Pharmacy Robbery Suspected of 12 Separate Hits
With the rise in the street value of and addiction to specific prescription drugs, pharmacies have become as attractive to thieves as banks. Throughout the country, pharmacies are being targeted not because they keep a substantial amount of cash in a vault, but because many of the pills on their shelves can catch as much as $10 each when sold on the street.
Even with the attraction of the cash value of this medication, the act of the robbery itself can also be part of an attempt to feed an addiction. While the exact motivation in this latest case is unclear, the arrest of 43-year-old Steven E. Hochuli of Phoenix could help put an end to a string of pharmacy robberies.
Reported by the Associated Press, this arrest is said by Peoria police to be just one of a dozen pharmacy robberies in the Phoenix metropolitan area since May. Hochuli, who was taken into custody on December 16 by detectives from Peoria and Glendale, is suspected in each of those robberies.
According to authorities in an announcement on Monday, Hochuli has been charged with one count of armed robbery for a November robbery of a CVS store in Peoria. Other robbery charges are still pending against Hochuli.
When the crime first occurred, it was reported that an unidentified man pulled a knife at the counter of the CVS pharmacy on November 29 and demanded Oxycontin. After securing his bounty, he fled the scene. The man, according to authorities, was later identified as Hochuli through tips called into the Peoria Police Department.
Officers note that Hochuli is the prime suspect in as many as 12 armed robberies in Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise and Tempe over the past seven months.
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