Jul 29, 2014
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Man Charged in String of Pharmacy Robberies in Waukesha

Waukesha man, 24, stole pills to feed addiction, according to criminal complaint.

Man Charged in String of Pharmacy Robberies in Waukesha

A 24-year-old Waukesha man was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Monday for allegedly robbing several pharmacies in the area since February.

Rollie M. Tappa was charged Monday with three counts of armed robbery with threat of force and one count of attempted robbery with threat of force for allegedly robbing pharmacies from Feb. 22 through Thursday. If convicted, he faces up to 128 years in prison and $325,000 in fines.

Tappa remains jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.

According to the criminal complaint:

Tappa went into ValuCare Pharmacy, 501 S. Grand Ave., on Feb. 22 and handed the attendant a note reading “I’m sick, I have a gun. I want Oxycontin, Opana, Suboxone. You have minute. Hurry!” The attended then gave Tappa two bottles containing 100 Oxycodone and Tappa then left the store and fled the scene on foot.

 Tappa went to Walgreens, 221 E. Sunset Ave., on March 24 and again handed an attendant a note asking for pills, which a pharmacist gave him while triggering a silent alarm. Tappa fled the store before police arrived and also stole a bottled drink before he left.

On Wednesday, Tappa went to the pharmacy located within Pick ‘n Save, 220 E. Sunset Ave., and put a note on the counter. A pharmacist believed he matched the description of a man wanted in connection with a string of robberies, so she fled to another area of the store. Tappa then left abruptly.

Tappa again robbed the Value Care Pharmacy on Thursday by handing the attendant a note. The attendant had recognized Tappa from the first robbery and saw him enter a red car, which officers located Friday in the 300 block of Williams Street.

Police officials interviewed Tappa’s girlfriend, who told them she had driven him to the pharmacy the day before, but was unaware he had robbed it. She also told police she planned to break up with him because of his addiction to pills.

Tappa admitted to the robberies and told investigators he decided to try robbing the pharmacies after a friend told him how easy it is and because his severe addiction to Oxycontin compelled him to perform the robberies.

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