A west Cumbrian pharmacist has told of his experience of a robbery at knifepoint in broad daylight after police released two suspects still under investigation.
The robbery took place on the morning of Monday 4 June at Moorclose Pharmacy in Workington. Officers responded to the report of a robbery at Moorclose Pharmacy at around 11.25am, Cumbria Police said.
It confirmed that a man carrying a knife entered the pharmacy and then fled carrying a quantity of the opioid oxycodone in a white bag. Nobody was hurt during the incident, it stressed.
‘He was masked and hooded up’
Pharmacist Andrew Cameron, who working with two other members of staff at the time, told The Pharmacist yesterday (12 June): ‘The guy came in, he was masked and hooded up. It was kind of a homemade mask, it covered his whole face. He had slits at the eyes and mouth.’
Mr Cameron said the man entered the pharmacy alone and walked directly into the dispensary area. He said the masked intruder demanded that staff handed over their phones, which they put on the desk. Still holding the knife, he then forced them to open the controlled drugs cupboard.
Mr Cameron said: ‘He put the knife on the counter and started grabbing the oxycodone. That’s all he wanted’.
‘He was more interested in the drugs’
Mr Cameron said that he then grabbed the knife himself. He said: ‘[The robber] pushed and shoved a bit, but he was more interested in getting to the drugs. That’s when I left him and phoned the police from next door.’
Cumbria Police said they arrested two local men, aged 46 and 33, on June 6. The suspects were released the same day after questioning and remain under investigation.
Mr Cameron said the team were shocked and shaken by the incident. He said: ‘We were well respected, we thought no one would want to do that to us.’
Mr Cameron said that he is looking into added security measures, such as new doors and a panic button. He said the pharmacy had received a lot of support from the local community and added: ‘We’ve had people come in and check-up on us quite regularly.’
Cumbria Police have asked anyone with information to contact police by email ([email protected]), or by calling 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.