It started like any other day. Pharmacist Mike Watts opened Center Pharmacy in Pleasanton at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31. The phone was already ringing.
“Are you open?” a voice asked. The man went on to say they were from Corpus Christi and needed to get their mother’s blood pressure medicine which they had left behind. A few minutes later, two masked men walked in dressed in mesh vests and work clothes saying they needed a bottle of medicine to transfer.
Minutes later, a female customer came in and saw that the larger man had a gun pointed at Watts. The two robbers proceeded to tie her up with zip ties in pharmacy owner Myron Repka’s back office. The men got the keys to the safe from Watts and took all the drugs inside.
Then they took a wallet, cell phone and lunch bag from the female employee on duty. Before tying her up with zip ties and extension cord, they had her open the register and took the money.
“Don’t do anything for five minutes. Be quiet,” they instructed and then fled out the back door. As soon as they were gone, Watts and the employee checked to be sure the customer was okay and worked to get themselves undone from the bindings. They were able to get to their feet.
A customer, Wilbur Palmer of Pleasanton, walked in about that time. He was able to get a pair of scissors and cut the straps off the employee’s hands and then called 9-1-1. The Pleasanton Police Department responded immediately.
“Their response time was excellent,” Watts stated. “They got there in a minute and a half. The guys were long gone. Travelers often stop here early so that was not a red flag.”
Approximately 25 or so lawmen and investigators came in before the morning was over and stayed until 11:30 a.m. They swabbed the mouths of all involved to get DNA samples. They took statements from everyone and interviewed Palmer who previously was a Justice of the Peace and trained in law enforcement.
Pleasanton Police Chief Ronald Sanchez confirmed the culprits fled the scene in an unknown direction with cash and medications. The police are in the early stages of the investigation and are still following up on leads. More information will be released as it becomes available. No one was hurt during the robbery.
“If you saw any suspicious persons or vehicles that morning in the area, please contact Lt. Perez at 830-569-3869,” Chief Sanchez stated.