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Man charged with trying to rob Tops pharmacy with fake bomb

A man approached the counter at the Tops pharmacy on Transit Road, wearing women’s clothes and holding a device which had wires leading to his purse. He passed a note to the pharmacist.

He was demanding prescription drugs and threatening to detonate a bomb.

A 911 call, a quick police response and a short foot chase ended with an apprehension at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Tim Hortons, resulting in the arrest of a Cheektowaga man Thursday evening by Lancaster Police.

Jeremy Carr, 39, of Cheektowaga was arrested on felony charges of first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree placing a false bomb, Lancaster Chief of Police William J. Karn said Friday morning.

"The officers did a really nice job," said Karn. "We got this guy and nobody got hurt and that’s a win all the way around."

Carr walked up to the pharmacy inside Tops at 6363 Transit Road at about 5:50 p.m. Thursday and demanded prescription drugs.

Police say he threatened to detonate a bomb he had inside a purse he was carrying if the pharmacist did not hand over medication.

Officers said Carr, who was described as wearing women's clothes, was holding a device that had a toggle-switch and a light on it, which had different colored wires attached to a 9-volt battery inside the purse.

Karn said while there were no explosives attached to the device that it "must have looked realistic" because one of the pharmacists was "pretty upset."

"She went to a back room where they would keep those medications and either her or someone was able to call us," Karn said.

The officers reported that Carr demanded Klonopin, which is the brand name of Clonazepam, a depressant – used to treat seizures, panic disorder and anxiety – which can be addictive.

Once he realized the police were being called, Carr ran out a rear door of the store.

Karn said officers spotted a male suspect in women's clothing running behind the Tops Plaza. Karn said Carr ran south behind Tops and other stores, through a wooded area, and west to the parking lot of the Tim Hortons at 6339 Transit Road.

"They saw him running south in the parking lot, behind the building, then he turned west and goes through some trees and ends up in the Tim Hortons lot," Karn said. "Our officers basically stop him at gunpoint by the dumpster at Tim Hortons, where they took him into custody."

Karn said that a Tops pharmacist identified Carr in the Tim Hortons parking lot, where Carr was still in possession of the purse and the device.

Karn lauded the response of officers Rick Albert, Brian Firestone, Ron Giza and Dave Oun, which resulted in the arrest within minutes of the 911 call.

Carr was arraigned in Lancaster Town Court and placed in the Erie County Holding Center after he was unable to make bail ($500 cash or $2,500 bond). Carr is scheduled to return to Lancaster Town Court on at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

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