‘I’m still very jumpy’: Woman recounts Middletown CVS robbery after helping police

Krystal Marsh, left, was recognized for her outstanding efforts in calling 911 and giving Middletown police plenty of information after the CVS Pharmacy was robbed recently. Her efforts enabled police to spot the vehicle on Central Avenue and apprehend the robbery suspects just over the Ohio 122 bridge in Madison Twp. after they wrecked their vehicle. Police Chief David Birk, right, presented the police department’s appreciation and the Ron VanArsdale Citizen Service Award at the Middletown City Council meeting on June 2, 2020. ED RICHTER/STAFF

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Krystal Marsh, left, was recognized for her outstanding efforts in calling 911 and giving Middletown police plenty of information after the CVS Pharmacy was robbed recently. Her efforts enabled police to spot the vehicle on Central Avenue and apprehend the robbery suspects just over the Ohio 122 bridge in Madison Twp. after they wrecked their vehicle. Police Chief David Birk, right, presented the police department’s appreciation and the Ron VanArsdale Citizen Service Award at the Middletown City Council meeting on June 2, 2020. ED RICHTER/STAFF

An employee who was tied up with another employee when a local CVS Pharmacy was robbed last month remained calm and kept a presence of mind to pay attention to the two robbery suspects, providing police with key information that lead to their quick arrests.

Pharmacist Krystal Marsh was working May 2 at the CVS Pharmacy at 820 S. Breiel Blvd. Two men from Indiana entered the pharmacy and tied up Marsh and the other employee before taking thousands of dollars worth of pain pills before fleeing in their vehicle, said Middletown police Chief David Birk.

Birk said Marsh remained calm and freed herself to call 911 and give accurate descriptions of the suspects. Her information enabled police to locate the getaway vehicle after it crossed the Ohio 122 bridge into Madison Twp. and crashed.

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“We recovered $11,000 worth of pain pills, the gun used in the event,” Birk said. “Your actions the definition and attention to detail were instrumental in assisting the Middletown Police Department. We can’t thank you enough. You did an outstanding job.”

Birk presented her with the Ron VanArsdale Citizen Service Award and a certificate of appreciation. He said the police department does not present these awards very often.

Marsh has been a CVS pharmacist for the past 22 years and worked the past six years on the night shift at the Breiel Boulevard store. She said the May incident was the fifth time she has been working when a robbery happened.

Marsh described her experience as “startling” because she did not see the suspect come up to the counter as she was busy helping a drive-through customer.

“It wasn’t like the last time (when a note was passed),” she said. “I’m still very jumpy.”

She said the suspect was wearing a surgical mask and showed her his semi-automatic handgun as she screamed. Marsh said he entered the pharmacy area, cocked his handgun and shoved it into her side, telling her he wanted the Oxycontin, percocets and other drugs, as they went to the time-delay safe to obtain the drugs.

After the safe opened, the suspect used his own pillowcase to grab the drugs. Marsh said the suspect warned her not to speak or push any panic buttons or he would kill her. Before leaving, he sat Marsh in a chair and used his own twist-ties to restrain her. The suspect’s twin brother had already tied up the front cashier and took away his cell phone.

Marsh said her previous experiences being robbed helped her in remembering the identifying information about the suspects.

Her company asked her if she wanted to be transferred. She said, “I know I’m not working the night shift any more and I’m definitely not working in Middletown.”

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The twin 23-year-old brothers, Nicholas Johnson-Tucker and Patrick Johnson-Tucker, told police they drove from Indianapolis to rob the Middletown pharmacy after choosing the location from a list on the internet. When they were arrested, the brothers matched the descriptions of the suspects given to police by Marsh and were wearing the same exact clothes as the suspects were seen on pharmacy’s surveillance video, except they were wearing surgical masks during the robbery.

Nicholas Johnson-Tucker told police that he had worked for a moving company and he was struggling financially.

“He heard how easy it was to rob a pharmacy and got the help of his brother,” Detective Ken Mynhier said during the May 11 preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court. Both men are accused of tying up the two employees inside and taking more than 8,000 pills with a total value of $11,129.92, according to the police report.

Explore Police: Two rob Middletown CVS, tie up employees

During the robbery, a gun was allegedly displayed by Nicholas, who told the two employees “not to do anything stupid,” Mynhier said. Twist ties used to bind the hands of the clerk and pharmacist were visible in video of the robbery sticking out of Patrick’s pocket, Mynhier said.

The pills were dumped into a pillow case and the suspects ran, police said. The employees were able to free themselves, lock the door and call for help.

Mynhier testified that both brothers were “very pleasant and polite” during his interview after the duo was caught when their vehicle wrecked crossing the Ohio 122 bridge after a short pursuit. Patrick Johnson-Tucker was behind the wheel of the Monte Carlo.

Both men, who had no prior criminal records, were charged with two counts of kidnapping, and aggravated robbery. Nicholas Johnson-Tucker is also facing a charge of carrying a concealed weapon. They are being held in the Butler County Jail under bonds of $750,000 for Patrick Johnson-Tucker and $760,000 for Nicholas Johnson-Tucker. Their cases were bound over to a Butler County grand jury for further consideration.

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