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Hospital pharmacy is held up

An armed man wearing pancake makeup held up a pharmacy at the Morton Plant Hospital complex Tuesday, taking narcotics and cash. Pharmacist Elbert Krause, 61, was bound by the robber, but he managed to free himself and call authorities, Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor said.

"We're just grateful no one was hurt," said Paul Gramblin, Morton Plant spokesman. "We have not had anything like this happen ever."

The pharmacy at 414 Pinellas St. serves primarily out-patients, hospital employees and the rehabilitation center, he said. The main pharmacy is in the hospital.

The robbery occurred about 8:30 a.m. as Krause arrived at the pharmacy, Shelor said.

A man armed with a chrome-plated revolver entered the pharmacy's back door and confronted Krause. The robber demanded a large amount of specific drugs and took an undisclosed amount of cash. He also took some rings from Krause, Shelor said.

"The robber was wearing cosmetic makeup on his face, apparently in an attempt to alter his appearance," Shelor said.

The robber was described as in his early 40s, white, 5 feet 8 and 160 pounds. He had black hair and wore wire-rim prescription glasses. He was carrying a large canvas bag.