San Francisco police investigate two pharmacy robberies 

click to enlarge At about 6:40 p.m. on Monday robbery occurred at the Golden Gate Pharmacy at 1844 Noriega St. in the Outer Sunset. - MIKE KOOZMIN/THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
  • At about 6:40 p.m. on Monday robbery occurred at the Golden Gate Pharmacy at 1844 Noriega St. in the Outer Sunset.

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.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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