Baton Rouge police believe they are suddenly a lot closer to nabbing three people they believe are responsible for robbing three area pharmacies in the last month. Police are looking for 22-year-old Alvin Washington, III and two of his accomplices. Detectives say one of those guys even pistol-whipped an older pharmacist, landing him in the hospital. The good news is it didn't take most of them long to open back up for business. The sad news is they are frightened and are having to dig deep in their pockets to find a better sense of security.
N and T Pharmacy is tucked away in a shopping strip on Marque Ann Drive, just off Florida Boulevard. The owners like to think of it as a small mom-and-pop shop that open language barriers in this Asian community. On April 3rd, everything changed. Ann says that's when a man, trying to fill a fake prescription, pulled a fast one on her.
Ann says, "I asked for his ID And that's when he pulled the gun up on me and jumped over the counter, pushed me down and grabbed my phone away." Ann says before she could even blink, two more men were inside the store. She says, "They put their masks and gloves on and one was on the lookout, pulled our blinds so no one could, the other guy jumped over the counter with a laundry bag."
Ann says in just seconds, the guys got away with more than $5,000 in prescription pills and about $600 cash. She says, "The only thing that went through my mind was just try to cooperate and get them out as soon as I can."
The owners never thought something like this could happen. There are cameras everywhere. Anywhere you go in the store, you're being watched. Now, they're having to spend thousands of dollars on a door buzzer and a bullet-resistant glass.
Nguyen says, "It's not us. We want to talk to our patients and now, we have to go through a bullet-resistant panel." Nguyen says the new security measures are going to set him back a few and he may even lose a few customers, but if it means keeping his family safe, he says it's just a small sacrifice.
Police are looking for him and two other men they believe are responsible for this robbery and three others in the area. If you know where they are, call Crime Stoppers at 344-TIPS.