Washington Man Charged in Pharmacy Robbery - The Missourian: Washington

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Washington Man Charged in Pharmacy Robbery

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Posted: Friday, August 31, 2012 8:37 am | Updated: 9:22 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

Authorities have charged a Washington man with Tuesday’s robbery at Hall’s Pharmacy on Highway A at Krakow.

Matthew J. Florence, 24, is charged in a felony warrant issued Friday morning with first-degree pharmacy robbery and theft of a controlled substance, which are prosecuted under a specific statute related to pharmacy crimes, authorities said.  

Florence was taken into custody Thursday afternoon and is being held in the county jail on a $150,000 cash-only bond.

Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said an anonymous tip led investigators to an apartment in the 1000 block of East Fifth Street and during questioning later Florence confessed to committing the holdup.

The robbery occurred about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday. The robber entered the pharamacy, walked around, then left only to return within minutes and ordered a clerk to hand over narcotics. The man claimed to have a gun, but no weapon was displayed.

During questioning Thursday, Florence told detectives that he did not have weapon.

No Second Suspect

Florence also told detectives that he acted alone in the robbery and that no one else was involved.

Florence said when he left the pharmacy he drove to a home on Country Club Lane, which is off of Country Club Road, the sheriff said.

Approximately half of the narcotics — Percocet pills — were recovered, according to the report.


Earlier Story

Investigators located a note pad inside the apartment.  Imprints on the pad indicated that a note had been written on the pad.  The word imprints on the pad were the same words contained on a note given to the employee at the pharmacy during the robbery, according to Toelke.

A large scale manhunt is still ongoing as of Thursday morning for a man who robbed a Krakow business shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The man claimed to be armed when he robbed Hall’s Pharmacy, Sheriff Gary Toelke said, but the sheriff could not confirm if a weapon was displayed.

The pharmacy is located in a small shopping center on Highway A near Country Club Road.

The suspect demanded narcotics and fled with an undetermined number of Percocet pills, the sheriff said.

The man was described as a white male in his 20s or 30s with dark hair and athletic build. He is about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and was wearing an olive shirt, light-colored shorts and carrying a white bag, the sheriff said.

Leaves, Returns

Lt. Steve Elliott said the man entered the pharmacy and left, then came back in and committed the robbery. He ran out and across Highway A to a waiting car.

The suspect was last seen driving away in a blue, four-door “sporty” car with slotted wheels. The driver fled north on Highway A and turned east onto Country Club Road, the sheriff said.

Investigators found some evidence at the scene including a new gold and black ball cap, the man’s shirt and an Ace bandage, also recently purchased, the sheriff said.

As a precaution, deputies contacted administrators at St. Gertrude School, Krakow, and at Clearview School to be on alert, Toelke said.

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