Police are looking over surveillance video from a Taylorsville pharmacy, trying to identify a gunman wearing a Halloween mask.
The half-dozen surveillance cameras inside the Peoples Pharmacy caught video of the robbery unfolding. At one point, the robber ordered workers to lie on the floor as he scrambled to get out of the business with a bag of stolen pain pills.
“He kept yelling and yelling, and he had a cloth bag and I kept filling the bag up as quick as I could, and he kept yelling that he wanted more,” said owner Phil Icard.
The robber was wearing what appears to be a red Halloween mask.
Investigators and pharmacists said robberies like this one are becoming all too common in North Carolina.
“The prescription drug problem in this state is absolutely amazing,” said Taylorsville Police Chief Tony Jones. “People don't have any idea. You think of cocaine and meth, but the number one problem in our area is prescription drugs."
“I would love for something to be done,” Icard said. “It is a shame. Thirty-seven years ago, this medicine was safe for people with cancer and terminal illnesses. And now it is for everyday living, and it is not right."
So far, police don’t know if the robbery is connected to other unsolved pharmacy cases in Hickory and Boone this year.
The growing trend has customers like Jackie Patterson worried.
“They just need to get right with the Lord instead of having the devil in them,” Patterson said.
The chief said his officers are stepping up patrols around pharmacies. Anyone with information can call Taylorsville police or Crime Stoppers.