3 suspects in S. Ogden pharmacy robbery arrested in Idaho

Tuesday , June 17, 2014 - 6:12 AM

MitchelChristensen.jpg

Mitchel Christensen...

SOUTH OGDEN — Three suspects, including a Twin Falls man and his son, believed to be responsible for a robbery at Walgreens Pharmacy here April 30 as well as a five-month crime spree, have been arrested in Idaho.

South Ogden Police have released mugshots of Dana P. Merrick, 38, as well as an accomplice to the South Ogden crime, that took place at 255 36th Street. Mitchel Christensen, 23 of Buhl, Idaho, police believe was the driver of a getaway car in April and a participant in a number of other robberies.

Merrick and his 17-year-old son were charged Friday, according to news reports. Because the son is a minor, police were not releasing his name nor his mugshot.

Christensen was taken into custody Saturday, said a press release from South Ogden Police.

All three were reported to be in the Twin Falls County Jail.

The press release said the three male suspects were able to gather an undisclosed amount of OxyContin from the South Ogden pharmacy and left the store.

Police were unable to locate the suspects at that time.

During the course of the investigation, South Ogden Investigators were able to identify Christensen from the video footage collected from Walgreens, said the press release.

“The information the South Ogden Investigators gathered led them to multiple pharmacy robberies that had occurred in Idaho and Oregon as well, all of which had similar information as that of the South Ogden robbery,” said the release.

The latest known robbery in Idaho occurred in Blackfoot involving Christensen, who at that time brandished a firearm at the clerk, the release said.

South Ogden Investigators coordinated a meeting with Blackfoot Police, the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Twin Falls Police Department, the release said. Officers from all three agencies questioned Christensen.

With the coordinated efforts of these agencies, Christensen was located and taken into custody in Twin Falls Saturday, the release said, noting that he was booked on an unrelated warrant out of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office in Idaho.

He was reported to have confessed to robberies in both Idaho and Utah. The latest robbery in Utah occurred June 10 in Draper.

News reports from Twin Falls said Merrick and his son were charged for a March 10 robbery of a Kmart pharmacy.

Reports state that the father and son each blamed the other for the Kmart robbery.

Charging documents say Merrick acted as a “lookout” while his teenage son approached the pharmacist with a note saying he had a gun and demanding prescription narcotics.

The teen also demanded money, according to authorities. The pharmacist complied, court records said.

Merrick told investigators he went to Kmart with his son but didn’t know the robbery was going to take place, court records said. The teen told officers his father handed him the note and told him to rob the pharmacy.

Officers said the Kmart case was solved when Christensen was questioned. They also questioned Merrick and his son.

The South Ogden press release said both Christensen and Merrick were being held in the Twin Falls County Correctional Facility on felony robbery charges and conspiracy to commit robbery stemming from robberies that occurred in Twin Falls during their crime spree.

Arrest warrants for Christensen, Merrick and Merrick’s son are being obtained out of the Weber County Attorney’s Office for the robbery that occurred at the South Ogden Walgreens Pharmacy, said the release.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Contact reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228 or jfrancis@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE. Like her Facebook page at http://facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis.

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