Coupeville drug store bandit faces robbery charge

A 24-year-old Bremerton man accused of robbing a Coupeville pharmacy at gunpoint two years ago was finally charged with the crime, but remains in an Oregon prison, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged George Skurtu in Island County Superior Court Sept. 26 with first-degree robbery.

Skurtu became a suspect in the Jan. 4, 2010 robbery after he and another man were arrested for armed robbery four days later in Dallas, Ore. The detective in Oregon noted that Skurtu matched the description of the Coupeville suspect and that the modus operandi of the robberies were the same, court documents state.

The police in Oregon found a label in the suspects’ possessions that came off an Oxycontin bottle from Lind’s Pharmacy in Coupeville; they also found a ferry receipt from the Port Townsend-to-Coupeville route from the day of the robbery, according to court documents.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme said he’s been waiting to receive the evidence from Oregon before charging Skurtu; prosecutors in Oregon have been holding all the evidence for their case. Skurtu was convicted of robbery and sent to prison, but now he’s appealing. Ohme said he still doesn’t have the evidence, but he had to charge Skurtu because the deadline for filing was approaching.

According to the police report, the suspect allegedly entered the Lind’s Coupeville Pharmacy at about 10:30 in the morning, pulled down a ski mask and pulled out a gun.

The robber followed the woman who works the counter as she ran into the back room. He threw her a backpack and told her to fill it with Oxycontin, and escaped with 14 bottles.

Another employee was able to hide in the back and call 911, but the suspect was gone by the time deputies with the Coupeville Marshal’s Office arrived.


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