Follow the Clues: A trail of pill bottles led cops to their door.

Tampa Bay Times –

They held up a Clearwater CVS. The alleged robbers made off with garbage bags full of opioids worth about $320,000. But they shouldn’t have tossed the empty bottles out the car window.

CLEARWATER — The three men who held up a CVS Pharmacy on New Year’s Day planned their moves meticulously.

The robbers hit at 5 a.m. They wore blue surgical gloves so they wouldn’t leave prints. They waved guns at employees and bound several of them with zip ties. Detectives would later review store surveillance video that showed one of the suspects casing the place the day before.

And they made off with a boatload of drugs in white garbage bags — more than 10,000 pills that contained the opioids hydrocodone and oxycodone, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It had an estimated street value of about $320,000.

But as detectives investigated the area around the store, located at 30387 U.S. 19 N, they started noticing pill bottles, according to an arrest warrant. The robbers, it appeared, had emptied the bottles as they made their getaway, then tossed them out the window of their car.

Detectives started following the pill bottles like bread crumbs, eventually leading to a house at 1045 West Ave. There, they found the same White Chrysler 200 that had been recorded on surveillance camera fleeing the scene. White cotton and a pill bottle cap lay on the ground nearby.

The deputies detained the two men inside the Chrysler: Christopher Rachell Jr. and David Dobbins, both 19. They matched the descriptions of two of the robbers seen inside the store, detectives said.

They found more evidence on Dobbins’s cellphone. He had recorded videos of the suspects in the same room as a bed strewn with pills and clear plastic baggies. Videos also showed them handling a white garbage bag near the pills — the same type of bag with which the suspects were seen fleeing, reports state.

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National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators Federal Tax ID: 52-1660752 / DUNS Number: 073539913

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