Police are investigating whether the armed robberies of two small pharmacies in San Francisco on Monday were carried out by the same gun-toting bandits.
The first incident occurred about 1:45 p.m. when two men held up the Clement Pharmacy at 1922 Clement St. in the Outer Richmond district, police said. The suspects reportedly pointed a gun at the 49-year-old employee, ordered him to the floor, then snagged an unknown amount of prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Then about 6:40 p.m., police said, a similar robbery occurred at the Golden Gate Pharmacy at 1844 Noriega St. in the Outer Sunset.
Two men reportedly stormed in with a gun, ordered at least two victims to the floor and demanded drugs from a 53-year-old female employee. The employee directed one of the robbers to a cabinet that held prescription drugs. The greedy crooks filled a backpack with those drugs and also pilfered over-the-counter medicines.
In both heists, the crooks wore dark clothing, according to police Officer Gordon Shyy, and at least one wore a cap. During the Noriega heist, the robbers covered their faces, Shyy said.
The rising popularity of prescription drugs — in addition to restrictions on the purchase of certain over-the-counter medicines — has led to a rise in pharmacy thefts nationwide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Prescription drugs can be sold for a high price on the black market, Shyy said. Over-the-counter cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine are valuable to manufacturers of methamphetamine, Shyy added.
Last month, police said, a worker at a small pharmacy on Cesar Chavez Street in the Mission was shot in the leg during an attempted robbery. In that incident, two crooks reportedly fled in a waiting car.
Shyy said no one was injured during Monday’s heists.