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Cops: S. Ogden pharmacy bandits also linked to Idaho, Oregon holdups

Published June 17, 2014 8:51 am

Suicide • One of three suspects dead after leaping over jailhouse railing.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police say the arrests of three men ended a spree of pharmacy robberies in northern Utah, southern Idaho and eastern Oregon — and also may have led to the suicide of one of them.

South Ogden Lt. Dwight Ruth said that on April 30, three armed men robbed the city's Walgreens Pharmacy at 255 36th Street and made off with an undisclosed amount of oxycontin. Investigators subsequently identified one of the suspects as 23-year-old Mitchel Christensen of Buhl, Idaho.

"South Ogden investigators gathered [information that] led them to multiple pharmacy robberies that had occurred in Idaho and Oregon as well," Ruth said Monday.

Working with police in Bingham County, Blackfoot and Twin Falls, Idaho, Christensen was located and arrested in Twin Falls this past Thursday on an existing warrant out of Blaine County, Idaho.

During questioning, Christensen allegedly "confessed to the robberies in both Idaho and Utah," including one on June 10 in Draper, Ruth said.

On Saturday, Christensen died at a Boise hospital of injuries sustained when he leaped over a railing, sustaining fatal head and spine injuries, inside the Blaine County Jail, the Idaho Falls Post-Register reported.

Meanwhile, Christensen's two alleged accomplices — Dana Merrick, 38, and a 17-year-old juvenile male, both of Twin Falls — have been booked into the Twin Falls Jail. They were being held on suspicion of numerous felony robbery charges.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims