UPDATE: Search continues for Coupeville pharmacy armed robber
January 5, 2010 · Updated 2:56 PM
Police have issued an updated description of the man who robbed Linds Pharmacy and Drug at gunpoint at about 10:25 Monday morning in Coupeville.
Island County Sheriff's Detective Ed Wallace described the robber as approximately 15 to 25-years-old, 5-feet, 4-inches to 5-feet, 8-inches tall, with a thin build. The robber wore black tennis shoes, dark-grey sweat pants, a black zip-up hooded sweatshirt and black three-hole ski mask.
Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Mike Beech said the man walked into the store brandishing a handgun and demanded the drug OxyContin. He threw a black backpack at the pharmacist, walked around the counter into the back area and ordered her to fill it, Beech said.
The man cleared out the pharmacy's supply of OxyContin, a highly addictive prescription pain medication.
"He took everything we had on the shelf in every strength," said the store's general manager, Adam Lind.
Deputies with the Coupeville Town Marshal’s Office were on scene within one minute, closely followed by the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies conducted an extensive search of the immediate area, but were unable to locate the suspect.
Coupeville police, Island County Sheriff's deputies and State Patrol troopers flashed their vehicle lights along Main Street, Highway 20 and Broadway Avenue in an effort to set up a perimeter around the pharmacy.
"You've got to plug up the holes you know you have," said Lt. Evan Tingstad with the Island County Sheriff's Office.
Coupeville schools were locked down for more than an hour while deputies checked the areas surrounding them.
There were eight people in the store at the time of the robbery, including a pharmacist, two pharmacy assistants, two technicians and three college students who were helping with store inventory, Lind said. No one was injured during the robbery.
"The crew is a little shaken up," he said Monday.
Investigators dusted for finger prints and lifted a shoe print left by the robber after he vaulted over the front counter on his way out, Lind said.
The pharmacy remained open after the robbery and continued to fill prescription requests by customers who seemed unaware of the morning heist.
The Island County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Coupeville Marshal’s Office are continuing to investigate the incident and review the store's video surveillance system and other video security tapes from around Coupeville, Beech said.
"We're working every angle at this point," he said.
As of Tuesday afternoon the suspect was still at large. He was last seen leaving the scene on foot, headed northbound.
A Skagit County Sheriff's Office search dog and handler were initially called in to help with the search effort. The unit was called off because officials couldn't find anything to give the animals a scent trail, according to Island County Sheriff Mark Brown.
During the lock down, Coupeville Elementary School kids were kept in classrooms and the windows were blacked out. The exterior doors were locked at the high school and middle school. The district lifted the lock down at 11:45 a.m.
Anyone with information regarding the crime should contact Detective Sgt. Mike Beech of the Island County Sheriff’s Office, 678-4422, or call 911. Anonymous tips may be left with the Island County Tip Line at 679-7319.
More details about the lockdown and the reported robbery to follow.