07-17-03: Couple face multiple robbery
|By MARGIE WUEBKER
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.
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
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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