A federal grand jury has indicted two Northeast men in connection with the armed robberies of 19 area pharmacies in 11 months.
From Dec. 10, 2011, until last Nov. 12, Edward Schaeffer, 29, and William Webb, 50, were responsible for 15 robberies in the Northeast, along with two elsewhere in Philadelphia and two suburban heists, according to a five-count indictment released on March 19.
Schaeffer allegedly used a stolen .22-caliber revolver to hold up the businesses, while Webb allegedly served as the getaway driver as the duo targeted numerous chain pharmacy locations, including Rite Aid and CVS, as well as independent shops like Holmesburg Pharmacy, Circle Pharmacy, Stanwood Pharmacy and Somerton Pharmacy.
Generally, the men demanded prescription medications and cash from victims. Schaeffer often wore gloves and a mask, while Webb sometimes entered the businesses alone prior to the robberies to “case” the stores. He would then exit before Schaeffer arrived to carry out the robbery. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
The suspects allegedly split the cash and either sold or used the stolen drugs, authorities claim.
Philadelphia police arrested the duo after they allegedly robbed the Rite Aid at 8130 Roosevelt Blvd. last Nov. 12 then fled to Webb’s home on the 6700 block of Torresdale Ave. Authorities have not released Schaeffer’s home address.
During the 11-month spree, the longest the suspects went without robbing a pharmacy was 77 days from Feb. 26 to May 14, 2012, according to the indictment. If convicted, each defendant would face possible life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of 32 years in prison. ••