Two suspects connected to at least five pharmacy robberies in Spokane have been arrested and are in custody in the Spokane County Jail.
Since January 4, a total of eight pharmacies in the Spokane area have been robbed, six inside Spokane city limits and in two in Spokane County.
The last pharmacy robbery happened at the Indian Trail Albertsons. Officers were on scene within minutes and, using tips from the public and information from both the Spokane Police Department and the sheriff's office, they were able to locate the suspects' vehicle and make an arrest.
Jacy Thomson, 33, and Philip Powlus, 35, appeared in court Thursday to face charges relating to five of those pharmacy robberies. Detectives say Thomson robbed two pharmacies while her boyfriend, Powlus, robbed a third. In all the two are suspected of working together to rob at least five pharmacies in the last 18 days.
"The frequency of the robberies probably would indicate more of an addiction and a need for personal use to have that volume of use rather than resale them but certainly it's an exchangeable commodity," Spokane Police Captain Brad Arleth said.
Police say during the first robberies Thomson left a trail of evidence on surveillance video and eyewitness accounts.
"In this case, I think very early on, in the first few days we had over 70 tips," Arleth said.
Using those tips, heads up work by Albertson's loss prevention teams and interagency cooperation, detectives were able to generate a vehicle description and eventually a license plate number. They even went as far as to suggest which pharmacy would be attacked next.
When the suspects allegedly struck Wednesday night, police were on scene within minutes tracking down Thomson and Powlus in their SUV.
At the time of her arrest, Thomson had 171 Oxycontin pills hidden in a body cavity, something police discovered when she was asked to give a urine sample.
Detectives will continue to investigate whether Thomson and Powlus are connected to the other three pharmacy robberies and the two could also be facing additional charges.