Alleged robber of CVS is held over for court

WELLSBORO – Christopher S. McCormick, 33, of 520 Button Hill Road, Tioga, was bound over to Tioga County Court following a preliminary hearing before District Judge Rob Repard Tuesday.

McCormick is charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, making terrorist threats and possession of a controlled substance in the Feb. 18 robbery of the CVS store here.

During the hearing, Repard heard from three witnesses, two of whom waited in the courthouse lobby until they were called in to testify.

Tammy Stage, a pharmacy technician at the store; John W. Shaffer, a teacher at Wellsboro High School who saw a man matching McCormick’s description at a gas station just following the robbery; and arresting borough police Officer Chad Boyce testified during the hearing.

Answering District Attorney George Wheeler’s questions, Stage said was afraid and scared after a man, alleged to be McCormick, handed her a note as she stood at one of the pharmacy cash registers the day of the robbery because it said he would “kill everyone” if he didn’t get “all the oxycodone, Percocet and Vicodin” they had. He allegedly added, “If I ever get the feeling you are making for the alarm, you’re dead. I have a gun.”

Stage testified she gave the note to pharmacist Mary Milano, who she said read it and “froze” for about 30 seconds before getting two bags and “going from bay to bay” filling at least one of them with the pills the man asked for.

Though she testified she never actually saw a gun, the man had his hand in his pocket the entire time, about 3-4 minutes, that he stood there waiting for Milano to get the drugs for him.

Stage said she went about waiting on other customers, who were “oblivious” to what was going on.

She said the man, who was wearing a green hunting-style coat and jacket with a plaid shirt hanging out from underneath it, “kept looking behind him,” as he waited, but didn’t say anything to her, except, “I’ll take all you have.”

Shaffer’s testimony gave a matching description of the man he saw pull in behind him to gas up at the Nittany Mart and said he was “acting strangely” because he left his car running while he gassed up, and then took his coat and hat off and put them into the trunk of the car before going inside and purchasing a “Rock Star” energy drink.

Shaffer also said that the man had tattoos down at least one arm, as does McCormick.

The next day, Shaffer said, he saw a posting on Facebook of a still shot from the store’s surveillance camera and recognized the man as the one he had seen at the gas station. He then called police.

Boyce told the court that Milano reported giving the man 73 oxycodone pills in a bag before he left the store.

McCormick was jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail. His county court arraignment has been set for 8:30 a.m. April 15.