Community tips lead to arrest of Walgreens robbery suspect

Stock image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Community tips poured in after the St. George Police Department asked for help identifying a pharmacy robbery suspect caught on surveillance footage last week. The suspect was identified and subsequently arrested Saturday.

On April 19, officers responded to the report of an attempted burglary at a Walgreens pharmacy located at 391 W. St. George Boulevard. A suspect had allegedly entered the pharmacy and attempted to get a controlled substance by stating he had called in the prescription, according to a probable cause statement filed by the St. George Police Department in support of the arrest.

Michael Gregory Williams, of Cedar City, Utah, booking photo posted April 23, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Michael Gregory Williams, of Cedar City, Utah, booking photo posted April 23, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The suspect was told he was not authorized to call in the prescription and that it was illegal to do so, the arresting detective wrote in a sworn statement. The suspect then left the store.

A few moments later, a car pulled up to the pharmacy’s drive-up window and the man in the car demanded the same controlled substance, according to the police statement.

“The pharmacist was alarmed and concerned that the male would enter the store if not given what was demanded,” the detective wrote in the statement.

When the pharmacist went to get the pills the man had demanded, the man drove off.

St. George News ran the story the following day asking for the public’s help identifying the man in the pharmacy surveillance footage. Community tips began pouring in, identifying 30-year-old Michael Gregory Williams, of Cedar City, as the man in the footage.

St. George Police released this photo April 20 showing an individual wanted for questioning in an active criminal investigation, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News
St. George Police released this photo April 20 showing an individual wanted for questioning in an active criminal investigation, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

On Saturday, officers were able to locate Williams at The Shoppes at Zion outlet mall located at 250 N. Red Cliffs Drive in St. George, according to the statement.

Police arrested Williams on two unrelated outstanding warrants and took him to the Police Department. There, according to the detective’s sworn statement, Williams was read his rights and he agreed to speak with him.

“I questioned Michael about this incident and he denied having even been at the store,” the detective wrote in his statement.

Williams was booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Williams of second-degree felony robbery.

Judge John J. Walton, of the 5th District Court, ordered $10,000 bail for William’s release pending trial.

Williams was found indigent by the court during his initial court appearance Monday and will be represented by court-appointed attorney Jay Winward. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance May 2.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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