HUDSON — On Wednesday morning, a man in disguise said he had a weapon and demanded OxyContin from a Winn-Dixie pharmacy. He wore makeup and a brown wig and had a bandage on his cheek. Witnesses said the man, who had a goatee and wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and jeans, got into a gold pickup truck driven by an accomplice.
Authorities think the same man has robbed or tried to rob five other pharmacies in west Pasco since late October. Witnesses give varying reports of the man's age and size — ranging from 15 to 33 years old; between 5-foot-5 and 6-foot-2; and weighing 140 to 200 pounds. But his style is the same, said Kevin Doll, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
He hands a pharmacist a note, stating he has a weapon and demanding OxyContin and sometimes also oxycodone. He wears disguises; he has painted his face black, worn latex gloves and donned bandages.
He left with drugs from four of the six pharmacies he approached.
On the night of Nov. 30, he handed a note to a pharmacist at a Walgreens on Little Road. The note stated: "Give me the Oxycodone and everyone here will not be held hostage and killed under your supervision. Don't try us." But the pharmacist didn't give in and tried to grab the note.
The thief ran away empty-handed.
His other unsuccessful attempt was at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at a CVS on Ridge Road. The pharmacist pretended to go in the back to get the drugs, but called 911 instead. The bandit ran away.
The getaway cars change; sometimes he is driving, other times he has an accomplice. He has been seen in a pickup and a black two-door car, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Witnesses have not seen a weapon, but the thief claims to have one. No one has been injured.
Doll urges anyone with information about these robberies to call the Sheriff's Office at (727) 844-7711. Tips also may be left anonymously at the toll-free tips line, 1-800-706-2488.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.