August 3, 2007, News 12 at 6 o'clock
CLEARWATER, S.C.---An employee at the CVS on Jefferson Davis Highway went to open up the store this morning. A man identified as 26 year old Earl Roberts was on the curb.
He was wearing a backpack and asked when the store opens. That's when it all began.
"I'm not going to get a prescription it looks like," said witness Jeff Hatcher.
Hatcher is among several customers who drove up the CVS this morning to a surprise - the CVS closed. This was after Earl Roberts had entered the store demanding drugs.
"He milled up and down the aisle for a few minutes and then made his way back to the pharmacy," said Lt. Michael Frank of the Aiken County Sheriff's Department.
"He produced a note and gave that to one of the employees stating I want this list of schedule 2 narcotics. I've got a bomb in my bag. If you don't give it to me, it's going to go off," adds Lt. Michael Frank.
The head pharmacist told his employees to go to the stores drive thru area. About 10 minutes later, a customer came through the drive thru and dialed 9-1-1.
"Meanwhile, the head pharmacist engaged this man into conversation and found out that he is an addicted drug user, he is homeless and needs help," says Lt. Michael Frank.
Eventually, Roberts walked out of the store peacefully and into the hands of the Aiken County Sheriff's Department.
They arrested Roberts and charged him with armed robbery and a false bomb threat.
SLED was called in to detonate the backpack. The commotion drew a crowd.
"When I was taking my sister in law to work, I'd seen a bunch of cops. I looked, got to the red light and I just stopped there. I turned my head to look again. So I just pulled over there and I'm just standing here watching," says witness Terry Harris.
There were 8 employees in the store at the time, but nobody was hurt. It turns out it was just clothes in the backpack. The store reopened just before noon Friday.