Two of three men alleged to have stolen prescription drugs from a pharmacy are in custody after police say they were able to track them down by following a trail of pill bottles.
Deputies say the trio stormed a pharmacy early on New Years Day, armed and carrying bags they’d soon fill with stolen drugs. One man allegedly hurdled the counter and demanded that the pharmacist open the safes containing prescription painkillers, while the other two allegedly bound the store’s other employees and led them to the rear of the building.
With garbage bags full of prescription opioids, investigators say the trio clambered into a white sedan and made good their escape. Meanwhile, an employee managed to free himself from his bonds and alerted 9-1-1.
Deputies began investigating the scene upon their arrival and soon found a discarded pill bottle they believe was part of the haul. They then found another such bottle, followed by a third, then a fourth. Ultimately investigators say the trail of discarded pill bottles led them to a Clearwater home ten miles from the pharmacy.
Armed with such strong circumstantial evidence, deputies approached the home and confronted the two men within. They were both taken into custody without incident and declined to speak to investigators. Both men were booked into the Pinellas County Jail, and both men face a raft of felony charges. One man, who is an Indiana resident, is charged with one count each of trafficking in oxycodone, trafficking in hydrocodone, and armed robbery, and three counts of false imprisonment.
The other man, who is a Clearwater resident, is charged with three counts of false imprisonment, two counts of trafficking in hydrocodone, and one count each of possession of a controlled substance and armed robbery.