Dunedin police officers indicate the direction in which a
man fled after the alleged aggravated robbery of Forbury
Pharmacy. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
It "felt like Groundhog Day" for the owner of a pharmacy
targeted in an aggravated robbery on Thursday night.
Police were called to Forbury Pharmacy, near Forbury Corner,
Dunedin, after a man allegedly threatened three staff members
before tying them with masking tape, and leaving the premises
with cash and prescription medicine just after 5.30pm.
He was later pepper-sprayed following a short pursuit on
foot, which ended in Ruskin Tce, where he allegedly
Pharmacy owner Kim Wallis told the Otago Daily Times the
incident was "almost identical" to the July robbery.
"It felt like Groundhog Day."
In that incident, a knife-wielding man entered the pharmacy
at 5.25pm and herded staff into a back room before running
off along Ruskin Tce with some prescription drugs.
Mrs Wallis said both robberies occurred at closing time and
she was near the front door - but obscured from the alleged
robber's line of sight when he walked to the counter.
"I saw him before he pulled down his balaclava and informed
staff it was a hold-up."
A man demanded Ritalin in both robberies, and also took cash
in the most recent incident.
Mrs Wallis was able to slip out the front door, and as in the
first incident contacted police via a neighbouring shop's
"I wasn't thinking about the fear factor, it was more about
getting out and getting help as quickly as possible."
She said the wait while on the phone with police "was awful".
"It was longer this time and made me think of the all
possibilities of what might have happened."
Three female staff were unhurt.
"[They were] shaken up, but we are just grateful it was a
successful outcome to a very traumatic event.
"Nothing ever prepares you for something like this. You try
to be as calm as possible and try not to react in a way that
will escalate the situation. You try and calm the person down
and get as much detail as you can."
Staff were relieved police had made an arrest after the
latest robbery, as it "wasn't a nice feeling when people
asked have they got him yet?"
A 45-year-old unemployed man appeared in the Dunedin District
Court yesterday charged with assaulting a police officer and
armed robbery in connection with the incident, and for the
armed robbery of the same store on July 4. He was remanded in