GLENDALE, AZ - A Valley pharmacist is speaking out after his former store was robbed by suspects who police say have struck several times since last year.
Chris Griffee told ABC15 he was the pharmacist at a small store in the West Valley when he was robbed last October.
“One [robber] waited in the car, another came inside,” Griffee said.
Griffee said the suspect locked the door behind him before showing the staff a stun gun and demonstrating that it worked by turning it on behind the back of a co-worker.
The robber knew what he was after.
“Give me all your oxy,” was the demand, according to Griffee.
And Griffee complied, handing over oxycodone, the narcotic painkiller.
After getting the drugs, the robber left; no one was hurt.
Police say the pair drive a white 4-door Lexus with a partial license plate number of 398.
Griffee said he has a friend who was robbed at another small pharmacy and eventually got out of the retail pharmacy business.
Griffee said he believes the suspects target small pharmacies to avoid having to make the long walk through larger stores to reach their pharmacies.
That long walk means more surveillance opportunities.
Police say the suspects have committed 11 armed robberies at small “mom and pop” pharmacies throughout the Valley since last July.
The most recent robbery occurred on April 5 in north Phoenix.
Police say this kind of activity is unusual. They say smaller mom and pop pharmacies are actually less likely to be robbed than bigger chain stores.
“The chains are set by protocol and procedure, the independent stores are owned and operated by the owner, so the owners are also there during the time period, they can create their own policy,” said Silent Witness Sgt. Darren Burch.
Burch said that means smaller stores owners can keep guns under the counter. He also pointed out chain stores are open longer, giving would-be burglars more time to rob them.
The Phoenix Police Department and Silent Witness are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrests and prosecution of the suspects.
Anyone with information about the suspects or robberies is urged to call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS to remain anonymous.