Surveillance released in foiled NJ pharmacy robbery

WINSLOW TWP., N.J. - September 13, 2012

Winslow Township police were on the scene moments after Jolin's Pharmacy owner Dr. John Agyemang opened fire on a man he says was trying to clean him out of prescription painkillers.

"If something like this happens, you're going to be scared. I'm no hero, but I thought either him or I," Agyemang said.

The attempted robber walked into Jolin's Pharmacy on the 400 block of Sicklerville Road around 2:00 p.m.

The pharmacist who was alone says the man asked for an array of drugs including OxyContin.

But when he spotted the thief's gun, Dr. Agyemang pulled his handgun from behind the counter and chased the man out of the store into the parking lot.

He fired five shots at the attempted robber as he got away on a mountain bike, a move the pharmacist and 14-year Army reservist regrets.

"Yes I do, I do because you don't know who's out there, it could be a child, you don't know who's out there so that's my main concern," Agyemang said.

Dr. Agyemang's need to arm his himself is due to painkiller addiction climbing at an alarming rate from our area to the west coast.

Recent crime numbers show in the past five years, drugstore robberies have nearly double nationwide. 3,500 pharmacies hit, more than 6-million pain pills stolen.

Many of the crimes turned violent.

The suspect is described as an African-American, standing about 5'8 to 5'10 tall, stocky, wearing black sneakers, a blue dress and a wig. The man was also described as having a light beard.

The pharmacy has only been open for approximately 3 months.

Customers at the Sicklerville business were just thankful their neighborhood pharmacist wasn't injured.

"I'm shocked and I think it's a shame because he's a good man, he's trying to start up his business and for something like this to happen," Sicklerville resident Alicia Smith said.

"He was packing and somebody messed with the wrong person. He's a good pharmacist and somebody went in there and they were stupid and I hope they got what they deserved," one customer said.

Police are not sure if the attempted robber was hit.

Officials pulled surveillance video from the business to get a better look at him.

The Camden County Prosecutor's Office wouldn't say if the pharmacist, who has a permit for that gun, is facing charges for firing in public, but the shooting is under investigation.

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact Camden County Prosecutor's Office Investigator Bob Ferris at (856) 580-5997 or Winslow Police Detective Tristan Shorter at (609) 561-3300.

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