July 12, 2011 / 2:50 PM / 9 years ago

Rock musician uses cell phone stickup note in robbery

CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) - A musician, using a stickup note posted on his cell phone, robbed a Massachusetts pharmacy of prescription pain pills just hours before his scheduled rock concert, authorities said on Monday.

Michael Todd, 30, a bass player and singer with New York rock band Coheed and Cambria, was arrested Sunday at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts, several hours before the group was set to open for headliner Soundgarden.

Prosecutors say Todd went to a Walgreens in nearby Attleboro Sunday afternoon and showed a pharmacy employee a text message on his Blackberry saying he had a bomb and demanding prescription painkillers.

“It is somewhat routine that in robberies, the robber gives a note to the clerk, but obviously this was a little bit more high-tech,” said Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

A frightened employee allegedly then handed over a half-dozen bottles of oxycodone pills, and Todd fled the store, taking a taxi to his parked tour bus outside the hall, said Miliote.

Attleboro police managed to track down Todd after piecing together details from surveillance video at the pharmacy and a witness’s description of the taxi, he said.

At his arraignment Monday in Attleboro District Court, Todd was charged with armed robbery and drug possession, Miliote said. Judge Dan O’Shea ordered Todd held on $25,000 cash bail.

“Michael Todd was arrested today on what we consider very serious charges and therefore he will not be finishing up the current tour,” said a statement from the band on its Facebook page.

Musician Wes Styles will take on bass duties starting Monday for the remaining dates in Poughkeepsie, New York; Quebec City and Halifax, Canada; it added.

“We are surprised, to say the least, and will address the situation with Michael after the tour. For now, we just want to have a great time out here and finish with some killer shows,” the band statement said.

Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune

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