RANDOLPH — A man robbed a Water Street pharmacy Monday morning, threatening in a note passed to a clerk that he’d shoot everyone in the store if he didn’t get prescription drugs.
The man escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of drugs and remained at large Monday as police canvassed the area. The robbery was reported at 9:10 a.m. at the Community Pharmacy, which is inside Goggin’s IGA on Water Street, marking the second time in as many years that the drug store has been robbed.
Ryan Reardon, chief deputy of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, said the robber was described as a man approximately 5-feet 11-inches tall and weighing 160 to 170 pounds. Surveillance video from the pharmacy and witnesses accounts said the suspect wore a red hoodie sweatshirt with white writing on the front — possibly a Red Sox champions logo, police said — as well as a dirty white baseball hat, sunglasses and blue jeans. He had salt and pepper hair, two or three days of beard growth and a narrow face, according to Reardon.
Capt. Dennis Picard of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said the man robbed the pharmacy inside the store and left the IGA on foot. The pharmacy also has a drive-up window, through which surveillance camera footage photographed the robber running by the window after apparently leaving the store.
A police dog was used to track the robber to an area two blocks to the north of the pharmacy. Reardon said the robber likely got in a vehicle there and drove away.
Police could be seen examining a bottle of drugs that the robber dropped outside after the incident.
The robber did not show a weapon but suggested in a note handed to the clerk that he had one while holding his hand in his pocket, and he “suggested shooting everyone in the store if he did not get drugs,” Reardon said in an email later Monday.
Amelia Arnold, operations manager for the local pharmacy, declined to discuss the robbery or what may have been taken.
“We’re just extremely grateful everyone is safe, and all our staff acted appropriately in a difficult situation,” Arnold said.
Reardon said it is still too early in the investigation to know whether the Randolph robbery was related to an Aug. 1 robbery at the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Manchester, in which prescription drugs were also taken by a robber who fled the store.
Reardon asked anyone who may have information about the crime to contact Detective Michael Bickford at 623-3591, extension 1202.
The Goggin’s IGA pharmacy was last robbed June 12, 2012. Shawn M. Merrill, of Augusta, later pleaded guilty to that robbery and confessed to other pharmacy robberies in Connecticut and at the Waterville Walmart and Rite Aid pharmacy in Fairfield.
Keith Edwards — 621-5647