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Priceville police close in on 3rd robbery suspect

By Ronnie Thomas 340-2438

PRICEVILLE — Priceville police are closing in on a third suspect following a break-in Sunday about midnight at Pill Box Pharmacy on Alabama 67.

"We have information on him, and we will be getting warrants on him shortly," said Patrolman Jason Wilbanks. "He is from Lawrenceburg, Tenn."

Wilbanks said teens hanging out at what is generally known as the Foodland Shopping Center saw a man knocking out windows at the pharmacy near the grocery store and being joined by another man going inside. They called 911.

"They were hooded and wore masks," Wilbanks said, "and had black plastic bags."

Wilbanks approached the scene as central dispatch advised a suspect vehicle had left, headed north on Bethel Road.

"I saw tail lights about a mile and a half ahead of me," he said. "I caught up to the vehicle, a 1997 green Pontiac Grand Prix that had duct tape over the tag. I followed as it went west on River Road and called for backup from Morgan County and Decatur Police."

Wilbanks said help arrived when Decatur Officer Chris Macris came up from behind.

"The subject turned off River Road and went south on Deere Road," Wilbanks said. "We initiated a traffic stop, and the passenger bailed out with the plastic bag. He bailed out running and ran into the side of my patrol car. Officer Macris and I pursued him on foot and caught him shortly after the chase began. The vehicle fled off."

Trooper Glen Odom took up the pursuit as the car continued south on Deere.

"The suspect crossed over Alabama 67 and abandoned the car at the Dairy Queen," Wilbanks said. "As it turns out, there were three men in the car. Two had gone inside the Pill Box to rob it while the third man drove."

Wilbanks said Morgan County Sheriff's deputies and other Decatur units arrived to assist in the search, but that they were unable to locate anyone.

Priceville Police arrested Steven Keith Tease, 36, of Summertown, Tenn., the man who leaped from the car on Deere Road.

"The other passenger turned himself in Monday," Wilbanks said. The officer identified him as Timothy Matthew Adkins, 18, of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.

Police charged Tease with third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools and Adkins with second-degree theft of property, third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools.

"The driver will face the same charges as Adkins," Wilbanks said.

The officer said they took "about 40 pounds of pills from the Pill Box, including 2,000 pills of Soma, which is a muscle relaxer, hydrocodone, some testosterone pills and H-C Tussive Syrup, a liquid type of hydrocodone."

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