2012 robbery of sleeping pills solved using fingerprints

James Patrick Brouner, 52, shown in a jail booking photo.
James Patrick Brouner, 52, shown in a jail booking photo.

GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN 6) — When a robber walked into a Walgreens nearly two years ago, he carried with him a misspelled note that demanded “strong sleeping pills.” The suspect got away that day, but after the robber’s note was tested by a crime lab, police have identified a suspect.

James P. Brouner, 52, is lodged in the Multnomah County Inverness Jail on one count of second-degree robbery.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, on July 11, 2012, Brouner walked into a Walgreens in Gresham and approached the pharmacist.

Brouner handed him a note that said:

Don’t saw (sic) a word give me a bottle of strong sleeping pills NOW!!! And I will quietly leave with no problems do you understand!! God is watching.

The teller, according to police reports, didn’t quite understand what the robber wanted, so he asked him to clarify.

The suspect told him to “just read the note,” court documents state. Police said Brouner then stuck his hand into a little black bag that he was carrying and physically implied that he had a gun or weapon. The robber at the time reportedly said, “Don’t mess this up,” court documents state.

The pharmacist went behind the shelves and told a co-worker to call police, but by the time they had arrived, the suspect had fled, court documents state.

Surveillance cameras captured the robbery on video, which was collected as evidence. Police took custody of the note and it was eventually turned over to the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory.

Last month, police said, the crime lab revealed fingerprints on the note that matched a criminal database that included Brouner’s name.

On Thursday, police arrested him as left his residence near Centennial Middle School. When he was questioned, Brounder told Detective Tony Cobb that he had only been in the Walgreens on two occasions over the years to buy products for his mother, court documents state. He denied being in Walgreens at all in 2012.

Brounder was arraigned Friday afternoon. A court appointed attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. He is expected to be in court again later this month.

His bail remains $250,000.


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