Deputy sheriffs believe an armed robber who says he is a drug addict returned Thursday to rob the same pharmacy he robbed two weeks ago.
But instead of getting away with Percocet and Percodan, the man this time faced a pharmacist who grabbed his own gun, chased the robber from the store and then fired a warning shot at him.A man entered Millcreek Pharmacy, 1260 E. Vine Street, about 9:15 a.m. Thursday. He walked up to the pharmacist and said, "Okay, let's do this one more time," a Salt Lake County sheriff's report states.
The pharmacist then pulled out a .22-caliber revolver from under the counter and pointed it at the robber. "I don't know if you have a gun, but I have one," he told the suspect.
The suspect then ran outside, and the pharmacist chased him. The pharmacist fired a shot into a fence as the robber was climbing it to escape. He told deputies he was not trying to hit the man but simply fired a "warning shot."
In addition to the previous robbery at the Millcreek Pharmacy on Feb. 22, the same man is suspected in the robbery of Brighton Pharmacy, 7138 S. 2000 East, on Feb. 26 and South East Pharmacy, 2670 S. 2000 East, on March 4.
In each of the robberies, a man handed the pharmacist a note reading, "I am an addict. I have a gun. Be smart and no one will get hurt." The notes demanded pain killers Percodan and Percocet, according to sheriff's and Salt Lake police reports.
One pharmacist told officers the robber seemed sorry to have robbed him. In another robbery, the suspect said, "I'm sorry to do this," reports state.
Sheriff's Capt. Bill A Van Wagenen said the suspect is not a "run-of-the-mill robber" and he believes the man could have become addicted to the pain killers after being given them legally by a doctor.
"What I want to do is find him and get him some help," he said. "I don't want anyone hurt, including him."
Detectives believe he truly is an addict because he took some of the pills immediately after pharmacists gave them to him.