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Barrington Man, 27, Charged With Theft of Oxycodone, Pharmacist Kidnapping

Joel E. LaFrance of Metropolitan Park Drive allegedly used a syringe as a weapon to steal a bottle of the narcotics late Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21.

A Barrington man, 27, faces robbery, kidnapping and felony assault charges after he allegedly stole oxycodone from a Riverside pharmacy using a syringe as a weapon on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21.

Joel E. LaFrance, of 129 Metropolitan Park Drive allegedly entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Willett Avenue around 3:55 pm. He reportedly forced a pharmacist into a back room using the hypodermic syringe to threaten him, said Barrington Police Chief John LaCross.

LaFrance also reportedly threatened a customer with the syringe, said East Providence Det. Capt. Richard Frazier.

Details of what occurred in the store were not clear, LaCross said, but LaFrance apparently left the store with the pills and headed toward Richmond Avenue. He allegedly was spotted by a witness running toward that street.

Barrington police officers Wesley McCoy, Timothy Oser, Christopher Aylward and Anthony DeCristofaro and Sgt. Josh Birrell were just coming out of roll call, said LaCross. They responded to the call for a robbery in progress.

LaFrance was found on Richmond Avenue heading toward William Street a few minutes after dispatch received the call. He reportedly threw away a bottle and then attempted to swallow the pills while sitting in some grass.

LaFrance was ordered to spit out the pills, but he refused, LaCross said.

LaFrance was turned over to East Providence police, who transported him to the hospital for treatment. He was then held overnight in East Providence before being taken to 6th District Court Monday morning, said Frazier.

Disposition of the cast in the court was not known. But it is believed LaFrance will be held without bail in the ACI because of the seriousness of the charges, especially the kidnapping.

He also was charged by East Providence police with possession of narcotics and crimes against a pharmacy, Frazier said.

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