Posted: Apr 17, 2013 11:35 AM by Erin Schattauer
BOZEMAN - A man accused of breaking into a Belgrade grocery store pharmacy three times and taking hundreds of pills and other drugs pleaded not guilty to the charges in court today.
Nicholas Byron Dawson, 33, is charged with three counts of felony burglary as well as one count each of criminal endangerment, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and resisting arrest. He appeared in Gallatin County District Court this morning where Judge John Brown set his bail at $100,000. He is currently being held in the Gallatin County Detention Center.
In February, the pharmacist at the Lee and Dad's IGA pharmacy in Belgrade called police to report that several bottles of drugs had been stolen from the business, including 313 Oxycodone pills, 10 Fentanyl patches, 36 Morphine Sulfate pills and more.
Surveillance video showed a suspect entering the business on Feb. 8, wearing a red or maroon coat, a dark colored baseball cap and tan boots or shoes. The video inside the pharmacy then showed a flashlight shining through the ceiling tiles. The suspect was then seen exiting the business through the service doors.
About a month later, on March 11, the pharmacist called police to report another theft at the pharmacy. This time, Methadone, Oxycodone and hundreds of Percocet pills were taken from a locked cabinet. An officer reviewed the surveillance video and determined the suspect entered the business after it closed by removing a ceiling tile and climbing down into the pharmacy.
After the second burglary, a police officer placed a motion-activated camera above the ceiling tiles of the pharmacy.
A Belgrade police sergeant was monitoring the live surveillance footage on March 18 when he saw what looked to be flashlight movement in the attic space above the pharmacy. Officers went to Lee and Dad's IGA where they encountered the suspect as he was exiting the building. He then fled in a red 2000 Chevrolet Corvette, heading west on Silverbow Avenue towards Jackrabbit Lane.
Police checked the car's registration and found it was registered to Dawson. A photo of Dawson also reportedly matched the description of the man who entered the pharmacy.
Officers went to Dawson's residence on Red Oak Drive. They could see lights on inside the home. Officers also saw the red 2000 Corvette with matching registration in a detached garage near the residence. After obtaining a warrant, they searched the residence and reportedly found clothing and boots matching the ones the suspect wore in the surveillance video. They also reportedly found an empty bottle of methadone, three Percocet pills and a box of latex gloves.
Dawson was located in Park County where he was picked up on a separate matter, at which time he was arrested on a warrant for the burglaries.