UPDATE: Makawao Town Pharmacy Robbed at Gunpoint

August 12, 2015, 12:19 PM HST · Updated August 13, 9:28 AM
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Photo of the hooded jacket that was worn by the suspect, during the Makawao Pharmacy Robbery on 08/11/2015. This hooded jacket was recovered near the scene.

Photo of the hooded jacket that was worn by the suspect during the Makawao Pharmacy robbery on 08/11/2015. This hooded jacket was recovered near the scene.

By Debra Lordan

UPDATE: 3:10 p.m., Aug. 12

The Maui Police Department has confirmed that the Makawao Town Pharmacy was robbed on Aug. 11, at approximately 12:41 p.m. by a male brandishing a black pistol.

He was wearing a grey hooded jacket and red bandana that covered his face.

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The clothing worn by the suspect was recovered near the scene.

He is described as a local male with fair brown skin, dark hair and brown eyes. He is approximately 5’5″ to 5’7″ tall with a thin build.

The unknown male fled the pharmacy with an undetermined amount of oxycontin pills.

Makawao Town Pharmacy. Photo: Debra Lordan.

Makawao Town Pharmacy. Photo: Debra Lordan.

—Original post—

Makawao Town Pharmacy staff today confirmed that the store was robbed at gunpoint on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at approximately 12:45 p.m.

Although the pharmacist and the two other members of the staff who were on duty at the time of the robbery were not available for interviews, Pharmacist Sheena Oakes, one of three pharmacists at the store, said the armed gunman demanded oxycodone, an addictive opioid painkiller.

Oakes, who has worked at the pharmacy for five years, said the store closed after the robbery; yellow police tape blocked the entrance.

“The staff was understandably upset,” said Oakes. “But the store opened for business as usual this morning. I am unsure of the staff schedule for the remainder of the week, but the store will remain open during its regular business hours.”

Sources had reported that a 20- to 30-year-old male walked in through the front door holding a gun and ordered everyone to get down. With a gun to her back, the pharmacist was ordered to get oxycodone pills.

“Nothing like this has happened here before,” said Oakes. “We are devoted to getting people their medications, then something like this happens. Looks like we are risking our lives trying to help people… just like the police.”

Makawao Town Pharmacy owner Les Krenk was not available for comment.

As of publication time, the suspect remains at large.

This is the third Upcountry pharmacy robbery this year.

Longs in Kulamalu was robbed by an armed gunman in June, when a suspect brandished a semi-automatic handgun and stole a significant amount of oxycodone pills before fleeing.

A similar report on Feb. 2, involved a male suspect who jumped over pharmacy counter at the Longs Drugs store in Kulamalu brandishing a black handgun. According to reports, the man pointed the gun at pharmacists and demanded “oxys” (oxycodone). Three days later, police arrested suspect John Naauao Jr., 28, of Kula, and charged him with first degree robbery in connection to the Feb. 2 incident.

A Maui pharmacist who requested anonymity said, “A few Maui doctors have created a large number of prescription narcotic addicts who will become increasingly desperate to get their fix. This puts all of our pharmacy employees at risk. This is a very serious problem on Maui.”

Makawao Town Pharmacy is located at 1120 Makawao Ave.

Maui Now will update the story after the Maui Police Department issues an update this afternoon.

Residents are asked to call the Maui Police Department at (808) 244-6400 with any information regarding this robbery or any of the pharmacy robberies that have occurred this year.

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