LEWISTON — A man accused of robbing Rite Aid on Sabattus Street on Wednesday told a clerk that he had a hand grenade, according to a police report.

Investigators said 39-year-old Wil Chabot was wearing a white sheet over his head, with holes cut out for his eyes, when he approached the pharmacy clerk and demanded painkillers.

“I have a grenade,” the note said, according to the affidavit. “Don’t scream. I want oxycodone 30 mg and Ritalin. Be quiet and fast or we all die … not a joke.”

The pharmacist complied, police said, and turned over roughly 300 pills to Chabot, who fled the store after some parting words.

“… the suspect mentioned that he did not want to blow anyone up and that everyone should think of their families,” according to affidavit, written by Lewiston police Detective Derrick St. Laurent. “The suspect departed down the main aisle and exited the main door.”

The robbery was reported at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Within a few hours, police had tracked down Chabot, whom they list as a transient. 

They were aided by a man who had encountered the robbery suspect as he fled the store.

“This witness reported while entering the Rite Aid parking lot, he was almost hit by an oncoming gray Volvo station wagon,” according to the affidavit. “The witness stated the driver (only occupant) backed into a spot near the main entrance and exited to the running vehicle wearing a mask.”

That witness made note of the license plate and provided police with a description of the suspect.

Police quickly put out an alert to other departments, advising them to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle.

Minutes later, a Lewiston police officer found the car parked in the Meadowview elderly housing complex, a short distance from the Rite Aid that was robbed.

Several people who live at the complex were able to identify the suspect and relate to police where the man lived. Police went to that apartment where a woman acknowledged that her nephew, Wil Chabot, was there.

Chabot was taken to the police station, where investigators said he initially denied the robbery, attempting to pin the heist on another man, whom he said had borrowed his aunt’s station wagon.

Police quickly discovered inconsistencies in Chabot’s claims, according to the affidavit. When detectives were given consent to search the Meadowview apartment where Chabot had been found, they found several items they say linked Chabot to the robbery. Included were a package of syringes, spoons, lighters, two loaded syringes, 172 oxycodone pills and 65 methylphenidate pills, also known as Ritalin. 

Also found, police said, was a pillowcase with eye and nose holes cut out of it. No grenade was found.

Police do not believe Chabot possessed one when he handed the Rite Aid pharmacist the note.

With that evidence in hand, police arrested Chabot on a charge of robbery. He has remained jailed on $10,000 cash bail.


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