• Police work to determine whether pharmacy robberies are connected


    HICKORY, N.C. - Police are trying to figure out if two pharmacy robberies in different towns are the work of the same person.

    The robberies in Gastonia and Hickory happened less than 24 hours apart and in both cases, the suspect stole thousands of painkillers, including Oxycodone.

    Officers said the man who robbed a CVS store in Hickory was very calm while showing the pharmacist a handgun and then giving her a note with an itemized list of the drugs he wanted. He then went behind the counter, had her open the safe and made off with 3,000 opium-based pills, like Oxycodone.

    The robbery happened one day after a Walgreens in Gastonia was hit. In that case, 37 bottles of painkillers were stolen.

    Police in Hickory said they will be in contact with authorities in Gastonia to compare surveillance videos from the stores.

    Deputies in Burke County said they have already stepped up patrols around their convenience stores because of the cases.

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