Man suspected in 3rd pharmacy robbery

Joel Crawford

A Grand Junction man accused in the gunpoint robberies of two Grand Valley pharmacies will be charged in connection with a third similar incident in Glenwood Springs, according to a Mesa County prosecutor.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Rubinstein said Friday that 54-year-old Joel David Crawford will be prosecuted in Mesa County on suspicion of robbing supplies of the prescription opiate Oxycontin on Aug. 2 at Glenwood Springs’ Safeway, 2001 Grand Ave.

Rubinstein said Mesa County prosecutors will have jurisdiction in the case because of a section of state law allowing for the charging of an alleged series of crimes by the same person.

Authorities believe Crawford robbed the same drugs on three separate occasions over eight months.

Crawford is being held at the Mesa County Jail on $200,000 bond in connection with the Jan. 28 robbery of Walgreens, 572 32 Road, during which store employees were forced into a bathroom at gunpoint as the suspect fled the store on a mountain bike after taking some 1,500 Oxycontin tablets, according to an arrest affidavit.

Crawford is suspected of robbing the same painkillers March 31 at Rite Aid, 2992 F Road, during which the store’s video surveillance was not working.

During a court appearance in August, Crawford told a judge his addiction to Oxycontin stemmed from a brain injury he suffered in a traffic accident 15 months earlier.


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