Safeway pharmacy robbed; suspect captured
El Dorado County deputies arrested a 22-year-old man shortly after 12:30 p.m. Sunday following an armed robbery about 90 minutes earlier at the Francisco Drive Safeway pharmacy.
Suspect Andrew Schultz, 22, reportedly had gone to the pharmacy prior to the robbery and told a clerk he had a prescription there to be filled. He gave his name but the clerk told Schultz she had no prescription there for him.
The suspect came back about 15 minutes later and said, “Does this change your mind?” and showed the female clerk the barrel of a gun under his shirt, according to El Dorado County sheriff’s Public Information Officer Phil Chovanec. The suspect was given more than 380 tablets of a narcotic thought to be hydrocodone. The clerk remembered the name given by the suspect, Chovanec said.
Sheriff’s deputies scoured the Francisco Drive area after the robbery, which occurred shortly before 11:09 a.m. Sunday.
Officers, including K-9 officers, also searched the Allegheny, Silva Valley and Fairchild areas just before noon. A California Highway Patrol helicopter had been called to help search for the robber, but weather conditions prevented its launch, according to police scanner traffic.
Just after noon, sheriff’s deputies converged on a Wrangler Place home off Silva Valley Parkway, based on information provided by the pharmacy staff and on “police work” in developing the information, Chovanec said.
At 12:25 p.m. scanner traffic indicated deputies had detianed one person from the home and officers made a phone call into the house and demanded the suspect, still inside, come out. It is thought that the first person to come out of the home was the suspect’s father, according to Chovanec. The officer said Andrew Schultz surrendered without further incident.
Schultz was on his way to the county jail shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday, where he was booked on suspicion of armed robbery. He remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Schultz reportedly confessed to the robbery. He said he tossed the gun and the pills, according to Chovanec. The pills were believed to have been dumped in a culvert carrying water and no word on whether they were found by officers was available. The gun, recovered by a sheriff’s officer, turned out to be a BB gun that appeared to be an authentic semi-automatic handgun, Chovanec said.
“You couldn’t tell the difference from the real thing, especially when it’s pointed at you,” he explained.