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The Daily



07-17-03: Couple face multiple robbery charges

The Daily Standard

    A Fort Wayne, Ind. husband and wife, who have been indicted in connection with two armed robberies at the CVS store in Celina, made initial appearances Wednesday afternoon in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
    The proceeding for the Mayers - Steven R., 32, and Amber, 28, -   came a day after grand jurors handed down a long list of charges stemming not only from the Friday night robbery at CVS but also for on  occurring back on Nov. 21.
    Steven Mayer faces two counts each of aggravated robbery and possession of drugs, all first-degree felonies; five counts of drug possession, second-degree felonies; and seven counts of theft, all third-degree felonies. Nine counts relate to the November robbery and seven to the most recent one. Four counts carry mandatory 10-year prison terms upon conviction. The remaining charges carry the possibility of up to 55 additional years behind bars.
    His wife is charged with two counts of complicity to commit aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies, and seven counts of complicity to commit theft, felonies of the third degree. Five relate to the first incident and four to the second. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a maximum of 55 years in prison.
    David William Bruns was appointed as legal counsel for Steven Mayer while Judge Jeffrey Ingraham appointed Pete Van Arsdel as attorney for Amber Maier. The couple are expected to enter pleas during an arraignment hearing scheduled for 1:15 p.m. July 22.
    Both defendants remain incarcerated at the Mercer County Jail on $250,000 cash bonds.
    A well-dressed man, who store employees later identified as Steven Mayer, entered CVS, 1020 N. Main St., shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday. He allegedly approached the pharmacy counter in back, brandished a silver handgun and demanded all of the painkiller OxyContin in stock.
    The male pharmacist complied and the man fled from a rear door with 3,384 tablets of varying dosages, according to court documents. In November, a suspect fitting the same general description also brandished a handgun and demanded the same drug, making off  with 2,376 tablets.
    Celina Police on Friday night quickly notified the Mercer County Sheriff¹s Department and the Rockford Police Department, and talked to a witness to get a car description. In addition, the Adams County Sheriff¹s Department in Indiana dispatched units to the state line.
    "The latest robbery mirrored the first so closely we felt we were dealing with the same people," Chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard. "We believed they were from Indiana so law enforcement units were assigned north of Ohio 29 and west of U.S. 127."
    Lt. Martin Emerine, an off-duty sheriff¹s deputy, spotted the suspects¹ vehicle and followed it to the Ohio 707 intersection where marked cars with lights flashing were waiting.
    Mayer, who listed his address as the county jail, is unemployed, according to court records. His wife, who listed a Fort Wayne address of 306 Greenwood Ave., works at a Fort Wayne establishment for wages and tips.
    Authorities believe the Mayers may be involved in similar crimes in the Indiana communities of Kokomo, Plymouth, Berne, Decatur and Marion. The latter location also was robbed twice, according to Slusser.
    "More than eight jurisdictions as far south as Dayton, as far north as Fort Wayne, as far east as Findlay and as far west as Kokomo are looking at this case because of obvious similarities," the police chief added. "That is not to say the Mayers were involved, but there is some definite interest from a lot of different areas."
    Like law enforcement officials throughout the nation, Slusser has seen an increase in offenses involving OxyContin. He labels it "the drug of choice in abuse involving pharmaceuticals."
    Slusser credits two factors - cooperation between law enforcement agencies and the cooperation of the public - in solving the local CVS robberies.
    "This is a small town and law enforcement works well together," he said. "I also have to compliment the public for seeing what was happening Friday night and recognizing it was a repeat of the earlier robbery."


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