Armed robber hits Oak Harbor drugstore, arrest made
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
March 18, 2009 · Updated 2:20 PM
A couple of men involved in an armed hold-up of Oak Harbor's Walgreens pharmacy Sunday morning were caught driving the get-away car on North Whidbey less than two hours later, according to police.
The alleged armed robber, 23-year-old Stephen Allen, appeared in Island County Superior Court Monday. He's being held on $100,000 bail on suspicion of first-degree robbery, possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree.
Allen is listed as a Kirkland resident in court documents, but police believe he's been living in the Oak Harbor area for some time.
The other man, an 18-year-old Oak Harbor man, is not being held and prosecutors don't know whether he'll be charged. Police say he may have been the get-away driver.
Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace said this is the first time in his lengthy career that an Oak Harbor pharmacy was robbed by an armed bandit.
Wallace said the suspect, later identified as Allen, entered the store just after 9 a.m. and went to the pharmacy. According to police, he displayed a handgun to the pharmacist and demanded OxyContin.
"It's a very powerful painkiller and very addictive," Wallace said. "It's often abused by people with heroin addictions."
Wallace said the man got away with "numerous bottles" of OxyContin. Witnesses said he left in the Dodge Neon driven by the 18-year-old man who had also been in the store earlier.
The chief said that the pharmacist remained calm during the robbery and set off a silent alarm, and then called police when the drugstore-cowboy-wannabe left.
The pharmacist and other witnesses were able to provide the police with a good description of Allen and the get-away car. Also, Wallace said the store cameras captured "good video" of the armed robber, who was wearing a hoodie that didn't obscure his face.
Later in the morning, a deputy with the Island County Sheriff's Office pulled the car over on Crescent Harbor Road near Hunt Road. The two men were arrested without incident.
Wallace said officers recovered the gun and some of the drugs, but they are looking for the rest.
A spokesperson at Walgreens corporate headquarters said the employees aren't allowed to discuss the incident because of the company's policy.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.