HUNTINGTON BEACH : Store Heist Suspect Arrested in England
A man suspected of robbing a drug store of condoms and prescription drugs and threatening a pharmacist with what appeared to be a hand grenade was arrested Thursday at Heathrow Airport in England, police said.
Eric Cooper Clark, 30, of Irvine apparently tried to flee from airport authorities after a routine check on his identification revealed that he was wanted in connection with the robbery, said Officer Mike Corcoran, a spokesman for the Huntington Beach Police Department.
Following his arrest by English authorities, Clark was flown back to New York, where he is now being held without bail until local authorities finish extradition procedures and bring him back to Orange County to be tried, Corcoran said.
Clark may be flown back as early as today to face armed robbery charges, if he waives extradition, Corcoran said.
Clark is a suspect in Monday’s robbery of the Druggist, a store on Brookhurst Street. He had placed two packages of Lifestyle condoms on the counter and handed a list of prescription drugs to the store’s owner and pharmacist, Terry Bottorff.
Clark then opened his jacket and revealed what appeared to be a grenade strapped to his chest and told Bottorff that he had a gun as well, police said. The list of about a dozen painkilling drugs was taken out from a booklet with information about the Irish Republican Army, which was left behind along with a driver’s license with a Beverly Hills address on it, Corcoran said.
An investigation into his previous address revealed that he had moved out of the affluent Beverly Hills neighborhood and moved into another house with his mother in Irvine, Corcoran said.
A team of Irvine and Huntington Beach police officers, sheriff’s deputies and a bomb expert searched the Irvine home for possible weapons and explosives and found three “rifle-type” weapons, a handgun and a grenade, which was discovered to be real but without the proper fuse to ignite it, Corcoran said.
Clark has no arrest record and apparently has no ties to the IRA, Corcoran said. He was in England to visit his father, Corcoran said.