Bellefonte, Penn. -- A Bellefonte man was charged with burglary, criminal attempted theft and criminal mischief after police said he smashed the glass front door of a local pharmacy and scattered pills over the floor last week.
Amos D. Perts, 26, of 1191/2 E. High St., was arraigned in front of District Judge Daniel Hoffman and sent to Centre County Prison in lieu of a $50,000 bail.
Centre County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Sampsell was driving down Allegheny Street in Bellefonte at about 6:25 a.m. March 21 when he saw a man standing in front of Parrish Apothecary. Although he was off duty, Sampsell said he pulled over when he heard glass breaking and noticed the door to the pharmacy had been broken out, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
Sheriff Denny Nau said it is rare for any officer, on duty or off, to apprehend people in the commission of a crime. He said he is working to find an appropriate way to commend Sampsell.
The man standing in front of the pharmacy claimed he was not involved. Sampsell asked him to stay in front of the store while he called 911.
The deputy said he saw another man standing behind the medicine counter, court records show. State police arrived and located the man, identified as Perts, in the store's cellar.
Meanwhile, Parrish Drug's owner Jay Montgomery had arrived at the shop after being notified by the security company that an alarm had been set off, court records show. He identified Perts as having previously been a customer.
Montgomery said Tuesday that the shop's front door had been replaced, but he didn't yet know how much it would cost.
"It's a heavy plate-glass door, so several hundred dollars at least," he said.
Montgomery said no medication had been stolen during the break-in.
"He had stuff scattered all over the place," Montgomery said. "It was dark. I only leave the one light on, so he couldn't really see what he was after. It was a real mess."
It is the second time Montgomery's shop has become a crime scene. On Feb. 21, 2004, a robber entered the store and demanded prescription painkillers.