Law enforcement officers are investigating a series of pharmacy heists in Sonoma County with hooded burglars breaking into closed drug stores, grabbing medications and fleeing in a BMW.
The burglaries were reported at small pharmacies in Santa Rosa, Windsor and Cloverdale. The suspects were spotted in Mendocino County and a northbound car chase with law enforcement ended in Willits with the men escaping after abandoning their car, according to authorities.
The early morning spree apparently started at Dollar Drug on West College Avenue in Santa Rosa, followed by Creekside Pharmacy in east Santa Rosa on Montgomery Drive. At Creekside, about 4:30 a.m., they smashed a front window to get inside, grabbed medication and left, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Dave Linscomb said Tuesday.
Just before 5 a.m. they were in Windsor. A resident sleeping in an apartment above the Health First pharmacy on Windsor Road woke to the sound of breaking glass and someone trying to get into the pharmacy. The resident called police at 4:53 a.m. Looking out over a balcony, he yelled that police were on their way and the men left in a dark‑colored sedan, sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum said.
Video surveillance showed the men wore hoods and gloves. They apparently left the Windsor store without taking anything, Crum said.
At 6 a.m. an alarm went off at Cloverdale Pharmacy and Cloverdale officers found the front door broken open, said Sgt. Rudy Segobiano. Surveillance video showed three men had gone into the drug store.
A check of inventory showed narcotics remained locked up in a safe but other medicines were gone, Segobiano said.
An alert of the crime spree was put out to law enforcement and the suspects were spotted in southern Mendocino County. A pursuit headed up the highway and ended in Willits where the men stopped and ran from the sedan. They escaped and law enforcement has the abandoned BMW, registered out of Fresno, with medications inside, authorities said. Further details on the pursuit weren’t available Tuesday.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter@rossmannreport.