Waugh Gets Prison Term for Crime Spree

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man who went on a crime spree in Lawrence Township in October was sentenced to state prison in Clearfield County Court.

Michael James Waugh, 31, 1107 Willow Dr., Clearfield, an inmate of the Clearfield County Jail, pleaded guilty to robbery, criminal conspiracy/robbery, burglary, receiving stolen property and defiant trespass in various cases. He was sentenced to serve a total of eight to 16 years in state prison. He was fined $5 plus costs and must pay $2,968 in restitution.

The charges stem from incidences in Lawrence Township, which began Oct. 5 with the attempted robbery of the Kwik Fill on Race Street. Then, on Oct. 8, he robbed the Rite Aid Pharmacy on the Clearfield-Curwensville Highway and on Oct. 10, he broke into Guns R Us on Flegal Road.

Prior to sentencing, Waugh apologized for his crimes, stating “what I did to those people was wrong.” He said he was sorry he became involved with drugs again but that wasn’t an excuse.

Clearfield County President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman commented that this was an example of someone getting involved in drugs with “disastrous consequences.”

According to the affidavit of probable cause in the first robbery case, a man entered the store after the employees made a cash drop into a safe. He walked up behind the victim, sticking a butcher knife to the right side of his neck and demanded money. The victim told him they didn’t have any money because it was in the safe and the robber then told him to open it. After the victim told him he couldn’t open the safe as it was locked, the man became agitated and applied pressure to the knife at the victim’s throat. Shortly after, he let the victim go and fled the store. Waugh was later identified as the robber by a clerk because he had been in the business several times.

In the Rite Aid robbery, the victim was working in the store pricing items when two males came into the store wearing a sheeted material around their faces and heads. They walked over to where she was working and one of them held up a knife. He told her to give them all the drugs. After she explained she could not get into the pharmacy, they told her to give them money. She had to unlock a register drawer and one male said it was taking too long. He then got behind the counter with her and removed all the large bills from the register. He jumped over the counter and the men left the store.

One of the men was described as wearing blue jeans, which were tucked into his tan-colored, untied work boots. Video surveillance footage showed the man wearing a long-sleeved, green-colored plaid shirt. Officers were unable to identify the man until Oct. 19 when Waugh showed up for a court proceeding wearing the same outfit. He also fit the physical description of the robber.

In the burglary case, a neighbor heard the alarm from the gun store and told police he thought the actors fled toward Quigley’s Bar. Police were unable to locate anyone but discovered a glass display case, which was used to store firearms, was broken and a hammer was lying inside the case. A revolver had been removed. There was fresh blood on the floor of the business, which was collected as evidence.

Another neighbor told police that he heard someone running through gravel and a sound as if someone fell. Police checked that area and found a black and white glove lying in the grass. The next day, another neighbor called police to report finding a bloody white T-shirt and socks near her residence, which is located down the street from the burglary scene. When Waugh appeared for a preliminary hearing, it was noticed that he had cuts on his hands and arms.

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