Two indicted for string of pharmacy heists

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. •• 

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