‘Drugstore Cowboy’ Suspect Rounded Up

Richard Ray Shaver

Richard Ray Shaver

WINNSBORO – An Elgin man who led police on a three-county chase last week may be responsible for a string of pharmacy hold-ups in at least two counties.

The chase ended just shy of the Richland County line in Fairfield County on Feb. 25 as Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies hemmed in the 1996 Mercury being driven by 37-year-old Richard Ray Shaver on I-77 in what is known as a ‘rolling roadblock.’ With two cars in pursuit, deputies were able to position several other cars in front of Shaver’s Mercury, gradually slowing him to a stop on the side of the highway.

Maj. Brad Douglas said Shaver surrendered without a fight once the chase came to an end at approximately 4:30 p.m. Investigators found several bottles of prescription pain medication inside the vehicle, Douglas said.

The chase began in Rock Hill at approximately 3:45 p.m. when Shaver reportedly entered the K-mart on 2302 Cherry Road, approached the counter at the pharmacy and ordered the pharmacist to “give me all of the drugs,” according to an incident report from the Rock Hill Police Department (RHPD). During the robbery, Shaver kept one hand inside a jacket pocket, pretending to have a gun.

The pharmacy handed over approximately 11 bottles of Oxycodone, the report states, and Shaver fled the scene in his Mercury. RHPD officers searching the area shortly after the incident spotted the Mercury heading south on I-77. Officers hit their blue lights, but Shaver failed to yield.

Shaver is also suspected of robbing the pharmacy at the Publix grocery store at 2186 Cherry Road in Rock Hill on Jan. 26. Fitting the same description – bearded white male, early thirties – the suspect robbed the Publix pharmacy in nearly the same manner. With one hand inside a jacket pocket, pretending to have a gun, the suspect made off with seven bottles of Oxycodone just before 4 p.m. on Jan. 26.

Surveillance photos circulated by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in January seem to indicate Shaver as being involved in a pair of similar robberies in December and January. On Dec. 17, a man fitting Shaver’s description robbed the Rite Aid on Decker Boulevard using the same method. On Jan. 5, a suspect also fitting Shaver’s description entered the CVS Pharmacy on Forest Drive, implied that he had a gun and ordered the pharmacist to hand over an unknown amount of prescription narcotics.

At press time, Shaver, of Fort Jackson Road in Elgin, was being held at the Fairfield County Detention Center where locally he faces charges of failure to stop for a blue light and possession of a controlled substance. The RHPD, meanwhile, has four outstanding warrants for Shaver – two for armed robbery and two for trafficking Oxycodone.

Attempts to reach the Richland County Sheriff’s Department were unsuccessful at press time.