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11-22-02: Gunman robs CVS Pharmacy
Narcotic popular with drug abusers reported taken from Celina business

The Daily Standard

    A man brandishing a silver-colored handgun made off with an undisclosed amount of OxyContin Thursday morning at CVS Pharmacy, 1020 N. Main Ave. The Celina Police Department is investigating the possibility the armed robbery may be linked with a rash of similar crimes in western Ohio and eastern Indiana.
    The perpetrator, described as a white male, approached the pharmacy department at the rear of the store and pointed a handgun at two unidentified employees. He demanded only OxyContin, a narcotic that has grown in popularity with drug abusers in recent years.
    Slusser declined to estimate the amount of OxyContin taken, but described the dollar value as "several thousands."
    Police quickly responded to the scene and prevented new customers from entering the store while conducting interviews and processing the crime scene.
    A sign at the drive-through window noted the pharmacy was temporarily closed and the management apologized for any inconvenience.
    "Customers in the store at the time were permitted to complete their transactions and leave," Slusser said. "We just didn't let any new customers in for about an hour."
    Police offered no information regarding the number of employees and customers in the store at the time of the robbery. However, Slusser theorized some customers were not immediately aware of what was unfolding.
    "The man did not attract a lot of attention until he pulled the gun," the chief added. "He was subtle and subdued until the point at which he pulled the gun and pointed it at two employees behind the pharmacy counter."
    Jamie Doyle, a CVS district supervisor apparently called to Celina following the robbery, referred all inquiries to Mike DeAngelis, a corporate spokesman. He acknowledged the store closed temporarily as police officers investigated the armed robbery but reopened by early afternoon.
     He declined further comment, explaining he did not wish to jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation.
     Police do not believe the man was in the store very long before approaching the pharmacy, but he definitely left in a hurry. Slusser estimates the man exited the store within a minute after receiving a white bag containing the requested drug. No one apparently saw him get into a car and leave the area.
    Slusser told The Daily Standard this morning that local police are working with other law enforcement agencies in communities where similar crimes have occurred in recent months. OxyContin also was the drug of choice in armed robberies occurring in Greenville, Lima and Decatur, Ind.
    Anyone who spotted suspicious activity or a suspicious person near the drug store Thursday morning is asked to call the police department at (419) 586-2345.
    The last armed robbery in Celina occurred at a Shell station approximately three years ago.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2002
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822