Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Stolen van recovered; two wanted in attempted Trinity pharmacy robbery at large

TRINITY — Deputies have found the van used by two people who tried to rob a pharmacy at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon, but they are still searching for the assailants.

The two left the van at the shopping center at Duck Slough Boulevard and State Road 54, the location of the Medicine Shoppe where they had demanded money and drugs shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll said.

An employee hit the panic button and another darted out the back door to get help, witnesses said. One of the assailants pointed a gun at pharmacist Ben Benoit, who managed to wrestle the gun away.

The would-be robbers fled, with the pharmacist's wife chasing them out the door with her own gun — attempting to break their van's window and firing a round into the vehicle as it sped off, Doll said.

At this time, it doesn't appear that the bullet hit either of the two fleeing, Doll said.

A business' security video showed the robbers ditching the van and getting into what appears to be a silver sedan.

Authorities think one of the robbers is the same man who pistol-whipped a 71-year-old woman about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in a botched carjacking outside the Ross Dress for Less at Little Road and State Road 54.

The man tried to force the woman into her car, the Sheriff's Office said. When she said no, he hit her in the head with his gun, drenching her in blood, witnesses said.

A couple from Ohio tried to help, but the man pointed his gun at them, took their car keys and fled in their Dodge van — the van that was later recovered near the Medicine Shoppe.

The gunman is described as being between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, with a medium build and brown hair. There is no description of the accomplice.

They are described as armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (727) 844-7711. Tips also can be left anonymously by calling 1-800-706-2488 or on the Sheriff's Web site at (click on "contacts" at the top of the page, then scroll toward the middle of the next page for directions on how to leave a tip online).

The 71-year-old woman is recovering, though Doll didn't say whether she had been released from the hospital or not.

"She's doing better," he said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at

Stolen van recovered; two wanted in attempted Trinity pharmacy robbery at large 04/15/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 9:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Forecast: Sunny, clear Memorial Day ahead of increased rain chances throughout the week


    If you're planning on heading outside today for Memorial Day activities, the weather shouldn't get in the way.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology


    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  3. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  4. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year


    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  5. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'


    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. []