DOVER - A Barrington man was sentenced to at least four years in state prison on Tuesday for his part in a string of pharmacy robberies targeting drugs during a blizzard last winter.
Robert Laughton, 28, pleaded guilty to a total of five pharmacy robberies including three that occurred within a couple of hours during a blizzard on March 14.
Laughton, along with Glen Lemelin, 25, also of Barrington, were arrested in connection with the blizzard robberies, which occurred at the Care Pharmacy on South Main, the Wakefield Street Rite Aid and the Hannaford's on North Main, all within a couple of hours of each other on March 14.
Lemelin is alleged to have been the individual who entered or tried to enter each of the stores, while Laughton is charged as an accomplice.
The first incident at Care Pharmacy occurred around 2:50 p.m. when witnesses said a lone male entered the store, and went to the pharmacy demanding narcotic drugs. The suspect was not able to obtain any drugs and fled the store. No weapon was shown, and no one was injured.
A K-9 track was performed, but it appeared the suspect left in a vehicle.
Then around 3:35 p.m. police responded to a report of a possible attempted burglary at the Rite Aid at 190 Wakefield St.
The caller said that a male fitting the same description attempted to go into that store, however, was not able to and fled the area.
Shortly afterward, police received a call from the Hannaford at 290 North Main St. reporting a robbery in progress, stating that a male fitting that same description was now at the pharmacy there demanding narcotic drugs. The male was again unable to obtain any drugs and fled the store. Again, no weapon was shown and no one was injured.
As a result of a brief investigation, Rochester Police, with the help of Barrington Police, arrested Lemelin and Laughton.
Lemelin, whose case is unresolved, was charged with one count of robbery and two counts of attempted theft, all felonies.
Laughton, who at the time was on probation for robbery, was charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, all felonies.
Laughton's sentence handed down by Strafford County Superior Court Judge Mark Howard was 6-12 years in state prison with a reduction of two years if certain conditions are met.