PLEASANTON -- Police have released surveillance photos from three attempted pharmacy robberies that took place Wednesday and Thursday, and now believe that the same person is likely responsible for the string of incidents.
Four similar incidents were reported within 36 hours at pharmacies across Dublin and Pleasanton, in which a suspect presented a note demanding narcotics and claimed to be armed with a gun, police said. Though varied suspect descriptions initially suggested to investigators that multiple men may be involved, investigators now believe the robberies to be the work of one man, after surveillance footage from three of the four pharmacies showed a similar figure waiting at each counter.
No surveillance footage was available from the Safeway pharmacy at 7201 Regional St. in Dublin, police said.
In all four incidents, the man's course of action was strikingly similar--he would present a note to the pharmacist claiming a robbery was taking place, along with a laundry list of the opiate-based medications he sought, including oxycodone, Oxycontin and Percocet, Pleasanton Sgt. Mike Tryphonas said. He would then tell the pharmacist that he had a gun, despite never showing a weapon in any of the robberies.
The first incident took place about 5:50 p. m. Wednesday at the CVS store at 7201 Regional St. in Dublin, where the suspect ran from the store after he thought the employee pressed an alarm button, Dublin police Lt. Herb
The suspect struck again the next day at a Pleasanton Rite-Aid store at 2819 Hopyard Road about 12:30 p.m., then again about 15 minutes later in Dublin, at the Safeway on 7499 Dublin Blvd., where he finally got his hands on several bottles of hydrocodone, Walters said.
According to Tryphonas, some sort of vehicle had to have been used in order for the suspect to have made it between the Pleasanton and Dublin stores so quickly. Police have received no vehicle description at this point.
The suspect in both Dublin robberies was initially described as a white male, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 225 pounds, Walters said. This description varied widely from that of the Pleasanton Lucky suspect, who was described as an unshaven white or Middle Eastern male, 30 to 40 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 190 pounds, wearing a blue shirt and gray sweatpants. The suspect in the attempted Rite-Aid robbery was described as a white male about 30 years old, standing 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, wearing a light brown jacket and a brown beanie and described as having a very red face and a scruffy beard.
"Upon viewing the footage, we see that this is likely the same guy, he just changed his clothes," Tryphonas said. "These kinds of descriptions have the potential of varying very widely depending on who you're talking to, as well as with what he was wearing."
Anyone with information about these incidents may call the Pleasanton Police Department at 925-931-5100, Dublin police Sgt. Yesenia Sanchez at 925-833-6682 or Dublin Detective Alan Dumatol at 925-833-6684.