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Pharmacy robbers use ax to steal pills, stuffed toys, cough syrup | News

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Pharmacy robbers use ax to steal pills, stuffed toys, cough syrup

SALINE COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - Authorities are investigating pharmacy robberies that happened early Friday, one in Hot Springs, another in East End, and a third in Shannon Hills.

Authorities in each area believe the three robberies are connected.

According to Cpl. Means with Hot Springs police, the first of the three robberies happened around midnight at National Park Pharmacy. He said police believe three men stole assorted pills, breaking into the pharmacy with an ax.

"It's your typical smash and grab type of robbery. Try to get in as fast as you can. Go in. Grab what you can as fast as you can and then get out," said Lt. Scottie Courtney.

Lt. Courtney with Saline County Sheriff's Office said that around 2:30 a.m., he believes the same three men broke into East End Pharmacy. A glass door was busted with an ax, and only a box of stuffed toys was taken. Lt. Courtney said the alarm sounded and he thinks this may be why they only made it out with the toys.

"As far as I know they got away with a box of stuffed animals," said East End pharmacist Charles Riley. "Something happened on this one that prevented them from completing what they started."

Asst. Chief Spears with Shannon Hills police said that a similar crime happened around 6:30 a.m. at Shannon Hills Pharmacy; in this incident, the thieves took cough syrup and pills.

In each situation, it seems the robbers backed a vehicle near the store, got out with trash cans, and used an ax to open the door. They were inside the stores for about 90 seconds.

Authorities are searching for a newer model white Chevy Traverse that may be involved in these crimes.

In surveillance video, you can see the suspects running through the pharmacy searching for drugs. Lt. Courtney said the disguise the suspects wore makes them hard to identify.

"It's really hard to tell with the hoodies, the mask and everything. We're hoping that somebody can see something that reminds them," he added.

The Shannon Hills Police Department along with detectives from Hot Springs and Saline County are pooling surveillance video to try and identify the suspects.