The suspect in the April 18 syringe-point robbery of an Ellicott City pharmacy walked into the store, donned a mask and sunglasses and produced a syringe, holding it to a pharmacist’s chest and telling her “AIDS syringe” before demanding drugs, according to charging documents.
The syringe was filled with blood, according to Howard County police, but that blood was not tainted with HIV, spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said Tuesday.
Because of privacy laws, Llewellyn said she could not disclose the source of the blood.
Benjamin Frederick Blessing, 52, of Golden Sky Court in Columbia, was indicted May 31 on two counts of armed robbery, assault and reckless endangerment in connection with the robbery of on Centennial Lane.
Police said in the charging document that their investigation revealed that the suspect entered the store and walked the aisles first, “canvassing the inside of the store.” He then put on “dark glasses and a white mask, covering his face,” according to police, and walked around the pharmacy counter.
There was one pharmacist on duty early in the morning of the robbery. According to police, the suspect held the syringe “inches away” from the pharmacist’s chest and said “AIDS syringe. I want the narcs,” demanding she put Percocet and Oxycodin in a large trash bag.
According to the police statement, the suspect squirted some of the blood from the syringe, but missed the pharmacist. He stole a bottle of Xanax from the counter, police said, before he left the store.
Police say he stole more than $27,000 worth of drugs.
After investigating surveillence tapes and forged perscriptions from CVS, police identified Blessing as their suspect. He was arrested in early May.
Blessing was also identified by police in another surveillance video, this one of an on the 9200 block of Old Annapolis Road in Columbia.
In that incident, a victim told police that she was with her 4-year-old child in the ATM vestibule at about 1 p.m. on Oct. 10 when a man approached her with what looked like a TASAR device and demanded money.
The woman said she saw a cab pull up, and she pointed to it, shouting that the police had showed up. She said the suspect then walked out of the bank and she ran out with her child.
He faces armed robbery and first-degree charges in that case.