EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 2, 2012

Police: Gunman, thieves hit pharmacies

Prescriptions, deodorants, shavers taken

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — Police said they are searching for robbers and thieves who targeted local pharmacies over the weekend, taking prescription drugs and a variety of deodorants and electric shavers.

One of them wore a scarf over his face and showed a handgun, police said.

Police said an armed man got away with an undisclosed amount of prescription medications during a robbery of the CVS near Westgate Plaza early Sunday morning.

That afternoon, a man walked out of the CVS in Lafayette Square after stuffing his jacket with deodorants, police said. That night a man walked out of the Walgreens on River Street with a shopping bag filled with electric shavers and drove off in a Mercedes Benz sedan, police said.

Investigators said they are reviewing surveillance from all three stores in hopes of identifying the suspects. Police believe the two shoplifting incidents may be related.

Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said a man entered the CVS at 425 Lowell Ave. early Sunday morning and walked to the pharmacy at the rear of the store where he asked to have a prescription refilled. The man, who used a scarf to hide his face, then showed a large handgun and demanded the pharmacist hand over several bottles of medications, Thompson said.

“The pharmacist complied and the suspect then grabbed the medications and ran out the front door,” Thompson said.

Police were notified of the robbery at 5:21 a.m. The suspect was described as a man, about 6 feet tall with a medium build and wearing sweat pants, sneakers, a gray knit cap and gloves. Police said the suspect had a dark-colored semi-automatic pistol.

On Sunday at 12:56 p.m., the store manager at the CVS at 150 Lafayette Square notified police that a man entered the store, filled his jacket with about $100 worth of deodorants and walked out the front door without paying. No additional information about this incident was available from police.

On Sunday at 9:59 p.m., the manager of Walgreens at 800 River St. notified police that hundreds of dollars in electric shavers were taken.

“The store manager reported a suspect was in the store carrying a large yellow plastic bag that he filled with 20 different types of electric shavers,” Thompson said.

The man was described as wearing a white hat with writing on it, a blue and red pullover windbreaker with “Boston” on the front, and blue jeans.

“The manager said he followed the man to the door and watched as he tossed the bag of shavers into the back of a silver, four-door Mercedes sedan,” Thompson said. “The suspect then jumped into the vehicle’s passenger seat and the car sped off.”

Thompson said detectives are looking into whether the two shoplifting incidents are related.