By JENNY MANNING
WHIDBEY NEWS TIMES
Police have issued a description of the man who robbed Linds Pharmacy and Drug at gunpoint at 10:20 a.m. Monday in Coupeville.
In an email press release sent Monday afternoon, Coupeville Town Marshal David Penrod described the robber as approximately 5-feet, 6-inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. He was wearing a dark colored hooded jacket or sweatshirt, dark colored jeans, a black mask, and brandished a silver handgun.
Deputies with the Coupeville Marshal’s Office were on scene within one minute, closely followed by the Island County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies conducted an extensive search of the immediate area, but were unable to locate the suspect.
Coupeville deputies, Island County Sheriff's deputies and State Patrol troopers' vehicles flashed their lights along Main Street, Highway 20 and Broadway Avenue in an effort to set up a perimeter around the pharmacy.
"You've got to plug up the holes you know you have," said Lt. Evan Tingstad with the Island County Sheriff's Office.
Coupeville schools were locked down for more than an hour while deputies checked the areas surrounding them.
There were eight people in the store at the time of the robbery, including a pharmacist, two pharmacy assistants, two technicians and three college students who were helping with store inventory, general manager Adam Lind said. No one was injured during the robbery.
"The crew is a little shaken up," he said.
The man cleared out the pharmacy's supply of OxyContin, a highly addictive prescription pain medication.
"He took everything we had on the shelf in every strength," Lind said.
Investigators dusted for finger prints and lifted a shoe print the robber left after he vaulted over the front counter on his way out, Lind said.
The pharmacy remained open after the robbery and continued to filled prescription requests by customers who seemed unaware of the morning heist.
Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate the incident and review the store's video surveillance system.
"The suspect is still at large and the investigation is being conducted by the Island County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Coupeville Marshal’s Office," Marshal Penrod wrote in the press release.
A Skagit County Sheriff's Office search dog and handler were initially called in to help with the search effort. The unit was called off because officials couldn't find anything to give the animals a scent trail, according to Island County Sheriff Mark Brown.
During the lock down, Coupeville Elementary School kids were kept in classrooms and the windows were blacked out. The exterior doors were locked at the high school and middle school. The district lifted the lock down at 11:45 a.m.
Anyone with information regarding the crime should contact Detective Sgt. Mike Beech of the Island County Sheriff’s Office, 678-4422, or call 911. Anonymous tips may be left with the Island County Tip Line at 679-7319.
More details about the lockdown and the reported robbery to follow.
This article was originally published in the Whidbey News Times on January 4, 2010.
Jenny Manning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.