Police arrest 2 additional suspects in October attempted robbery of Smithgall’s Pharmacy in Lancaster

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LANCASTER -- Police have made two more arrests in the October attempted robbery of a pharmacy belonging to former Lancaster mayor Charlie Smithgall, according to court documents.

Johnny L. Straining Jr., 22, of Harrisburg, and Andrew Garrett, 24, of Steelton, are also charged in the robbery attempt, which occurred on Oct. 23 at Smithgall's Pharmacy, on the 500 block of West Lemon Street.

Smithgall, who was working at the store at the time, thwarted the robbery by shooting another suspect, Brandon Galette.

Galette sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the incident. Police found him lying on the southeast corner sidewalk of North Pine Street, where he was detained and provided medical treatment.

Investigators say they expect Galette to survive "serious" injuries.

Smithgall, 73, was not charged in the shooting.

According to a criminal complaint affidavit filed by Lancaster Police, Straining was identified as the second suspect who entered the store with Galette during the robbery attempt.

Straining and Galette are accused of showing handguns and threatening employees and a customer while demanding Oxycodone.

Garrett drove the suspects to the store and remained outside as a lookout, police say.

Straining was arrested on Dec. 14. He is charged with one count of robbery and one count of criminal conspiracy to commit robbery. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 26, according to court documents.

Garrett was arrested on Thursday, court records show. He is also charged with one count of robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, and will also have a preliminary hearing on Dec. 26.

Both suspects are currently in Lancaster County Prison after failing to post bail, which was set at $1 million for each.

Galette was previously charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, aggravated assault, receiving stolen property, two counts of illegal possession of a firearm, firearms not to be carried without a license, and seven counts of simple assault.

While the current charges the three men face are in relation to the Smithgall Pharmacy incident, investigators say they are looking into their potential involvement in other pharmacy robberies in York and Dauphin County.

“It appears there are some similarities between all the robberies in that there could be the same players involved. As to who did what robbery and who is going to be charged, we’ll have to wait and see for that,” said Brett Hambright with the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office.

Galette identified Straining and Garrett during questioning by police, according to court documents.

Investigators say he identified Straining through a nickname and Garrett with his first and last name.

Lancaster Police investigated social media accounts to match descriptions provided by Galette.

“We found some information to corroborate what Mr. Galette gave us and we also found what we believed to be solid and accurate photos of those other individuals Mr. Galette mentioned. He, in turn, identified them just a few days ago as the individuals who were also involved,” said Hambright.

Investigators believe there is a fourth and final player involved in the Smithgall Pharmacy.

Details are limited at this time, however, authorities say they know who and where the person is.

More charges are expected in the near future.

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