It wasn’t St. Nick arriving early on the roof of the CVS pharmacy in Apalachicola on Sunday night.
A man carrying prescription drugs was arrested early Monday morning after police spotted him climbing down a ladder at the rear of the store located at 139 Avenue E.
The subject, Marcus Dewayne Kelley, 38, of Bristol, was ordered to come down to the ground, where he was handcuffed, placed in custody and transported to the Franklin County jail.
At approximately 3 a.m., Apalachicola Police Officer Ginger Creamer responded to a dispatch call reporting that a breaking and entering was in progress, after the store’s security company contacted the dispatcher.
Together with Creamer, Sheriff Deputies Chase Richards and Kevin Shuman arrived on the scene, after being advised the suspect was wearing a white t-shirt and most likely entered through the roof.
The intruder was still inside the CVS pharmacy store when police arrived. The three officers spotted Kelley on the CVS roof attempting to climb down a ladder onto the rooftop of a storage shed located at the rear of the store.
The officers on scene were joined by Sheriff Office Sgt. Goldie Harris and the scene was investigated and photographed. It was determined Kelley used ladders stolen from Ron Smith. who lives a block from the CVS, to mount the roof.
Local contractor Erin Rodriguez, who also lives within a few blocks of the store, said Kelley was apprehended with a tool satchel from Rodriguez’s truck. He said metal cutters, pliers and a hammer from the tool kit were used to cut through the CVS roof.
Investigating officers estimated there was several thousand dollars in damage to the building.
Rodriguez said he was impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of both the city and county police officers involved in the investigation. He said they awakened him at around 4 a.m. to identify his equipment and the tools were quickly returned to him.
According to the police report, Kelley gained entrance through the roof and ceiling of the pharmacy and removed multiple bottles of hydrocodone tablets.
At 9 a.m. Monday morning, CVS staffers were cleaning the floor at the site of the break in, where a large portion of the suspended ceiling in front of the pharmacist’s counter was missing. A small hole was visible in the roof.
In addition to two counts of grand theft of the medication and possession of burglary of tools, Kelley is also being charged with resisting officer without violence, burglary of a structure, possession of a controlled substance and criminal mischief.
On July 8, Kelley, also known as “Fixit,” was sentenced in Franklin County Circuit Court to two years’ probation for committing felony battery in a July 6, 2012 incident.
According to a blog posting by Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson, Kelley had recently been released from the Liberty County Jail in Bristol.