HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police on Long Island are hoping surveillance video will help them track down an armed robber that held up a drug store, allegedly for the powerful painkiller oxycodone.
A surveillance video shows a man in a surgical mask with a shopping basket in one hand and a gun in the other, walking up to Divyesh Patel at Harry’s Pharmacy in Hicksville.
“He came inside to show me the gun. He told me he wanted a specific medication, oxycodone, 30 milligrams,” Patel said.
The video shows Patel with his hands up telling the robber to take whatever he wants. Bottles of prescription pills are seen being put in the thief’s basket.
Cashier Nita Patel then walked out of the bathroom and came face to face with the gunman, who ordered her to open a special cabinet where more drugs were stored.
“I’m scared. I can’t fight him, because he has a gun,” Nita Patel said.
The Monday morning robbery was the latest in an epidemic of pharmacy hold-ups. Two years ago, a Medford pharmacy was robbed on Father’s Day and four people were gunned down.
“It’s definitely frightening if something happens to my employees in my store in my neighborhood, ya know? I’m living in the neighborhood, too,” Harry’s Pharmacy owner Harry Vutukuri said.
Police estimate the robber in his mid-to late-30s and possibly a customer because he seemed to know so much about the layout of the store.
“I’m sure they’re going to get caught, sooner or later. I feel so bad for these people here because they are so nice and friendly,” customer Nahb Bashang said.
The owner said he’s considering hiring an armed guard for his pharmacy.
Police said they will also check the backgrounds of former employees.
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