Elkton pharmacy robbery suspects nabbed
Caught less than 15 mins later
— Two men who allegedly teamed up to rob a pharmacy in Elkton on Wednesday found themselves in handcuffs less than 15 minutes after the holdup, police reported.
Investigators identified Brian J. Branch, 28, of Middletown, Del., as the gunman in the robbery that occurred about 11:30 a.m. at
the Walgreens at 301 E. Pulaski Highway, according to Capt. Joseph Zurolo, an Elkton Police Department spokesman.
Detectives identified Michael A. Kolmonen, 28, of Wilmington, Del., as the getaway driver, he reported.
Zurolo noted that Delaware State Police troopers captured the fleeing suspects shortly after they had entered that state from Cecil County.
Their arrests came after EPD detectives and officers radioed a be-on-the- lookout bulletin, supplying the reported description of the gunman to area law enforcement agencies, he said. EPD radioed that information before they had arrived at the Walgreens, where they cordoned off the business entrance with yellow crime-scene tape and interviewed the victims, Zurolo added.
“The suspects were caught almost immediately,” Zurolo commented.
He deferred to DSP
officials for information regarding how and where Branch and Kolmonen were captured, explaining that they are handling that part of the case. DSP could not be reached for comment.
At some point, according to Zurolo, the suspects will be extradited back to Cecil County to face charges relating to the Walgreens armed robbery, which occurred when the suspect, now identified as Branch, brandished a handgun and demanded money from a clerk.
“He reached over the counter and grabbed the money and then fled on foot,” Zurolo said, adding that he was last seen running north on nearby Whitehall Road.
Shortly after the armed robbery, a hunt by a specially-trained scent dog and his handler led investigators to conclude that the gunman had met a waiting getaway driver and sped away, according to Zurolo.
“Our K-9 was tracking and it (the scent) stopped cold at Coachman Drive, so we believed there was a getaway driver involved,” Zurolo said, referring to a neighborhood road that is close to the Walgreens.
EPD detectives radioed a be-on-the-lookout bulletin to area police agencies, including DSP, and described the gunman as a white man about 5-feet, 4-inches tall, weighing 145 pounds, and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans and a ski mask, Zurolo reported.
DSP investigators had handled similar armed robberies that occurred recently just over the Cecil County line in their jurisdiction, he noted.
They captured Branch and Kolmonen in New Castle County, Del., within minutes after the holdup, according to Zurolo.
This marks the third armed robbery in Cecil County since Sunday, when a gunman with a bandana partially covering his face robbed the Stop-N-Go store in the unit block of East Cecil Avenue in North East at about 8:20 p.m., police said. Brandishing the handgun, the suspect demanded cash and cigarettes, and fled on foot after the clerk complied, police added.
Some 52 hours later, a suspect wearing a black “costume beard” walked into the Wawa in the 1600 block of Elkton Road (Route 279) about 12:45 a.m. Tuesday, displayed a handgun and demanded money and cigarettes, police reported.
That suspect also fled on foot after the employee complied, according to police.
As of late Tuesday, investigators hadn’t determined if those two armed robberies are related. Store surveillance cameras videotaped both of them, police reported.
Information regarding a connection, if any, of the Walgreens armed robbery to the other two holdups was unavailable Thursday night.
Elkton Police Department detectives and officers work behind crime scene tape in front of the Walgreens in Elkton, where a gunman reportedly robbed the store in broad daylight Wednesday.
An Elkton Police Department officers stands behind crime scene tape in front of the Walgreens, moments after a gunman reportedly robbed the store.