Joel T. Hughes

A Franklin County teen accused of stealing and attempting to steal controlled substances from two area pharmacies has been charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes.

Joel T. Hughes, 19, Union, was charged Monday in St. Charles County Circuit Court with one felony count of stealing a controlled substance. A $25,000 cash-only bond was set in that case.

Hughes also is charged in Franklin County with one count of trespassing, a misdemeanor. His bond on that charge was set at $1,000.

The charges stem from incidents early the morning of March 30 at Walgreens stores in Washington and Wentzville. At the Washington store, Hughes went behind the pharmacy counter allegedly looking for narcotics. He left the store after he was surprised by a pharmacist who came out of a back room. That incident, caught on a video surveillance camera, happened shortly before 3 a.m.

About two hours later, Hughes and another man went to a Walgreens store in Wentzville where Hughes allegedly got away with about 3,300 pills. Washington Detective Sgt. Brad Erisman said some of the pills, not all, contained controlled substances.

Police identified Hughes as the possible suspect based on tips they received after The Missourian posted the surveillance photos on its website last week.

Erisman said Hughes was questioned Saturday by police and then held on the trespassing charge.

The detective said they also interviewed another man who told them he drove the suspect to both Walgreens stores.

Erisman said he expects Hughes to be transferred from Franklin County to the St. Charles County Jail on the felony charge.