Police: Robbery crew targets three pharmacies in an hour

Police say a group of robbers hit three pharmacies within an hour. According to police, they got scared off and came away empty-handed from two places.

For the security guard at Smith's Pharmacy on Hunting Park Avenue turning away three gun-toting suspects at the front door Monday afternoon was all just part of the job.

"I noticed three gentlemen walking up. They were putting hoods on and masks on," the security guard told FOX 29. "They were getting closer to the door so I drew my weapon. At that moment, all three of them turned around. They ran out of the pharmacy parking lot across the street into a blue car."

Police say Smith's Pharmacy was the first of three drug stores targeted by a robbery crew that sprung into action Monday in the space of an hour. The description of the robbers and their getaway car looks like a match.

"All three of them they all say they're--they were all wearing masks," Northeast Detectives Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum said.

From Smith's Pharmacy, police say, the three suspects went to Oxford Pharmacy at Cheltenham and Horrocks Street just off the Boulevard. They walked in and came face-to-face with the owner who is licensed to carry a gun. Police say he pulled his weapon and the suspects quickly did an about face and left empty handed.

According to police, these suspects were determined. They headed straight for Center Pharmacy on the 500 block of West Erie. Within a few minutes, they walked in with their masks on and their guns out, according to police.

"This time they did get lucky. They did get some narcotics and some cash," the lieutenant said. "There's a huge black market for pills. Painkillers especially with the restrictions the government put in place tracking prescriptions now."

Police are concerned the suspects could strike again, but the security guard at Smith's has a message for them.

"Don't come back to Smith's Pharmacy," he said .

Police say a lot of independent pharmacies have hired armed security guards recently. Smith's Pharmacy has been using them since a holdup in February.

Police believe the suspects were driving a dark blue or black Chevy Impala or a Malibu. They are considered armed and dangerous.

No one was injured in these incidents. No weapons were recovered. Police do have surveillance video from the robberies.