Two people arrested in rash of local pharmacy robberies



Posted on January 23, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 6:45 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane Police arrested two suspects believed to be connected to several recent pharmacy robberies in the area.  Authorities said Thursday Jacy L. Thomson, 33, and Phillip J. Powlus, 35, were taken into custody overnight. 

WATCH: Police ask for public’s help to track down pharmacy robbery suspect

According to SPD, detectives received tips that led them to the suspects.  Family members reportedly told police they recognized Thomson’s sunglasses and jeans in surveillance photos released to the media earlier in January. Police said they had executed search warrants in the case and recovered evidence. A white iPhone belonging to Thomson helped detectives track her down. It was seen in security video. 

Thomson and Powlus were both booked into the Spokane County Jail. Thomson was being held on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Powlus was being held on charges of 2nd Degree Robbery and Delivery of a Controlled Substance. Additional charges were expected.

Powlus has five prior felony convictions in Washington State from 1996 through 2001 for drugs, unlawful possession of a firearm and residential burglary. He also has a federal conviction in 2004 for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

WATCH: Four pharmacy robberies in Spokane in first week of 2014

Thomson has five prior felony convictions in Washington State in 2009 for first degree robbery, 3 counts of second degree robbery and first degree theft. 

Family of Thomson and Powlus said the police have it all wrong.

“Absurd. It’s absurd to us and our family due to the fact that police have nothing on them to connect them to these robberies. Except for possession of a controlled substance,” said the suspect’s cousin Jonathon Hunter.

Wednesday night the Albertson’s on Indian Trail was robbed. Witnesses told police a white male in his mid-20’s with a bandanna over his face, jumped over the prescription counter, grabbed an undisclosed amount of prescription medication and ran.

Officials said about 15 minutes after the robbery call, a citizen called to report a number of empty medicine bottles on Five Mile Road near the intersections of Woodside and Elgin.

Police later tracked down a silver Dodge Durango that matched a description of the one used in the Albertson’s robbery. Authorities stopped the car near Division and Magnesium. The car was registered to Amanda Dahlen.


WATCH: Indian Trail Albertson’s becomes 9th pharmacy robbery of 2014

Thomson and Powlus were located inside the car. They were arrested without incident.

Officials spoke with Dahlen and she told police she let Powlus borrow her car on January 16 in exchange for oxycontin. On the 16th, there was a pharmacy robbery at the Albertson’s on E. Trent.

Police noticed that Thomson appeared to be under the influence of some types of narcotics. She was transported to Sacred Heart hospital.

Court documents said Thomson is accused of hiding drugs in her body. Police said 171 pills of oxycontin were found on her at the hospital.