Update: Gun pointed at pharmacist during robbery attempt: owner

Terry Roberts Transcontinental Media
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Employees shaken by incident

The owner of Baccalieu Trail Pharmacy in South River said a terrifying incident at her business this morning has left her employees feeling distressed and uneasy.

At about mid-morning, business owner Linda Sesk said a male wearing a mask and carrying a firearm walked into the store, marched to the pharmacy at the rear of the building, and demanded a specific drug from the pharmacist.

"He pointed the gun directly at the pharmacist," said Sesk.

She says the pharmacist threw a quantity of the drug — Sesk would not identify the drug — onto the floor, and the suspect quickly fled the building.

"It was all over very quickly," she said.

A 25-year-old male from Carbonear was later arrested in connection with the incident. A .22 calibre rifle was in his possession at the time of his apprehension.

Police received a call just before 11 a.m. The suspect was arrested after his white Mitsubishi Lancer was observed travelling towards Bay Roberts on Veterans Memorial Highway.

RCMP officers stopped the vehicle and arrested the individual at the access road to Harbour Grace.

Three police vehicles, including a police service dog and its handler, were at the scene this afternoon.

A yellow police line was secured to the front of the building.

The owner said four of the five employees on duty at the time witnessed the incident. She was unsure of the number of customers in the store.

"The girls are very upset, and as you can imagine, the pharmacist is very upset. I'm told the gun was loaded," said Sesk.

"It helps that they have him, but it's very disappointing," she added. "I believe this was a very desperate young person who couldn't get a prescription filled, and needed it right away."

Sesk said the pharmacy would remain closed for the day, but would reopen for business on Tuesday (Aug. 21).

A police spokesman said the suspect will likely make a first court appearance on Tuesday morning, in Harbour Grace or Placentia.


(Earlier story)

A 25-year-old man from Carbonear was arrested this morning by police with the Trinity-Conception district of the RCMP in connection with a robbery at the Baccalieu Trail Pharmacy in South River.  

The man was arrested after his white Mitsubishi Lancer was observed by traveling towards Bay Roberts on Veterans Highway.

Police stopped the vehicle at the access road to Harbour Grace.  

The RCMP said no shots were fired during the robbery but the man was in possession of a .22 calibre rifle at the time of his arrest.  

The police say more information may become available as the investigation develops.



Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Carbonear, South River, Bay Roberts

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Recent comments

  • From the Area
    August 29, 2012 - 11:08

    I am originally from the area and know the young man fairly well. He was the last person on earth I would have ever suspected to be involved in any violent crime; he is a genuinely polite and mild mannered person. I no longer live in the area but will tell you that it will SHOCK you how many young adults from 2004-2005 to present have in the past, or still are, frequently using percoset, ocycontin, dilaudid and other presecriptions drugs which are easily obtained in the area (and with a hefty price tag) People from good families, teenagers and young adults you would never suspect. I wish him a speedy recovery and am truly sorry for everyone involved in this unfortunate incident.

  • What the heck
    August 23, 2012 - 09:27

    What the heck kind of a drug could turn an otherwise normal person into a criminal when they stop taking it? Oxycontin was taken off the market after many years and much devastation. Obviously there are other very dangerous drugs that the public needs to be made aware of. If we are totally responsible for the medications prescribed to us then at least give us a chance. The pharmacy owner stated, "I believe this was a very desperate young person who couldn't get a prescription filled, and needed it right away". Why couldn’t he get his prescription filled and how many more lives will be shattered? Why are patients the ONLY ones responsible for dangerous drugs prescribed to them? Why wasn’t he in a hospital under the care and supervision of the health practitioners who prescribe these dangerous drugs BEFORE this event occurred? How bad does it have to be before some measure of prevention and responsibility is taken by the manufacturers, healthcare practitioners and government regulators? When so called “practitioners” take absolutely no responsibility for the consequences of the devastating drugs they’re doling out to the public at large, then what the heck makes them any different than glorified thieves or thugs who traffic drugs on the street. Deviant offenders get catch and release while prescription drug users get thrown in jail? If that’s all our best and brightest are capable of then it might be less wasteful to put the stupid people in charge. At least then there would be some plausible excuse for this injustice.

  • so sad
    August 22, 2012 - 22:58

    I am not originally from Carbonear, but moved here 3 years ago. This is the first time I have ever commented on a site like this. I do not know this man's family but I do know him through through my line of work. I was very saddened when I had learned what happened. I have to say this young man is one of the most polite and mannerly young men I have had the privilage to know. I could not believe it when I read the court report yesterday and saw his name there and then connected it to the robbery, I got goosebumps. All I can say is I pray to God he gets the help he needs and is not locked in a jail cell with real criminals.I know what he did was wrong and there are no excuses, but for a quick moment in time he saw no other way and lost control, I know how those employees felt at that pharmacy I was once held up at a convenience store about 8 years ago, but believe me there are some people who commit crimes as a cry for help, and God I hope he receives it....my thoughts and prayers are with this young man and his family.

    August 22, 2012 - 21:17

    This man is a great person, that unfortunately got addicted to drugs. He is not a sociopath. He is a man with a severe addiction. Anyone who knows him or even somewhat knows him are aware that he is a kind and gentle human being. He is a victim in this case, just as much as the woman who was held at gunpoint. The problem lies somewhere at a higher level. I can't perform magic, and make it all go away. If we all had quick, easy answers to everything, well then this wouldn't have happened to begin with. This situation is difficult for the average person to understand, because maybe they haven't been exposed to such things in their lifetime. But let's use this incident as a WAKE UP call for the addicted young people in our area. What happens when a person using the methadone program, can't afford the prescription anymore? I'll tell you exactly what happens - they get extremely desperate. And in the height of that desperation, I believe they temporarily lose their minds, and act in a way that they will likely regret for the rest of their life - as was probably the case here. I feel bad for everyone involved in this: the employees of the pharmacy and the addicted robber. I hope that the pharmacy staff will be ok, and I hope that the convicted man get the help he needs, and a second chance.

  • Heart broken
    August 22, 2012 - 01:52

    You're right, this is a very well liked man, and the LAST person you'd think to do this. He's a well educated, hard working contributing member of society. He has a huge heart and lots of people who love him dearly. Unfortunately he felt that this was his only option and his desperation took over. But anyone who has ever spoken one word to him knows that he wouldn't hurt anyone, he NEVER would have hurt anyone in the pharmacy. He just made some bad decisions just as many many people have in this town but that does NOT make him a bad person. I know that once all this is over he won't be returning to drugs and most definitely not crime (this is the one and only thing he's ever done). Please give these people a chance before you judge them, you couldn't find a single soul that could say one bad thing about him; the drugs just took over that day. Besides, with everything they're already going thru, do you think his family wants to see bad comments about him? They are NOT bad people, they're known people in the community who don't deserve to be judged for this. Neither does he.. I know that's sometimes hard to do because I myself catch myself reading a story like this and I judge right away when really, I have no idea what the situation is or what the person is going through. We all handle stress differently. I guarantee that after all this you will NEVER see his name in the papers again. He made a mistake and some bad choices but believe me, he'll be learning from them after this. It really sucks that this is what it came to but for anyone who knows him knows how low he must be feeling right now and negative comments about him is only making it worse. It also sucks that these drugs are so overprescribed that people are selling them and very easily pulling the wool over the doctors eyes.. Very sad. Its hard to imagine that these devil drugs are legal and given out by trusted people but under what discretion? There's thousands available in conception bay on any given day and they're controlled by a doctor?? It's really hard to fathom how people can pull the wool over their eyes and sell their prescription because they don't even need them. Crazy

  • very sad story
    August 21, 2012 - 14:23

    many hearts are broken over this young troubled, well known and very well liked man. these pills have destroyed and hurt so many lifes in this small area. when people are on them, the pills control them and take reality out of their hands. its easy for people to assume he was just trying to cause trouble or be a rebel but unless they understand the seriousness and how much of a different person they can make to even the best, rich and successful people they will never know. when you get hooked on these pills you no longer own or have control of your life anymore. hearts are very broken and we can only hope for the best outcome. i have not said this to cause a fight or a convo brew because i know many people dont agree with what i just said but if people take a walk in someone elses shoes instead of being so quick to judge than maybe people will understand better. addiction is a disease where people need help just like cancer or any other sickness.

      August 22, 2012 - 05:38

      Exactly, take a walk in their shoes. So correct to say that alot of young people in the area have been destroyed by these drugs, but in saying that we have to keep in mind that everyone has the choice. I know this young man and he was an outstanding fella growing up but alot of things around him changed. The family has had to deal with alot in recent years. I feel most sad for his parents. I don't doubt for one second that they raised him as correct as one would expect but when you start beating around with the wrong crowd and these drugs become the norm there's not much that the upbringing can influence. There are lots of stories to be told about what these pills/drugs have done to the young people in Carbonear area that can't even be said here or in the news. Unbelievable really. But, all things aside, the young man decided to do everything he did and unfortunately he now has to pay the price and even worse his family will also have this burden.

  • jim
    August 21, 2012 - 06:37

    i think this pore man needs help can someone out help him whats the good to lock him up in jail put him some where he can get the help he needs to get out of this stuff thanks

  • CJ
    August 20, 2012 - 17:32

    And yet for all you're well intentioned thougts D Penny, that is the attitude that has led to weak sentences from the courts and the utter lack of respect younger people show towards their actions. They don't have to make excuses... there's is always someone to make the excuses for them....... time for these criminals to be held responsible!

  • Ism
    August 20, 2012 - 14:24

    Kevin b'y you got it figured out. No one over 30 ever robbed, stole, got addicted or w/e. Its purely a generational issue of kids not respecting the values of their elders....Thanks for clearing that up for me. Time to take a tougher stand? How exactly?

  • manitoban
    August 20, 2012 - 14:20

    as i said before, and i say it again. we can thank all those hug-a-thug die-heart liberals for it. federal liberals made a mockery of the justice system and that other joke called the youth justice act. those liberals made it easy for convicted criminals to be released back into society by watering down the crime bills in committee's, then back in 1982 then a liberal prime minister brought in that phoney document called: "THE CHARTER OF RIGHTS & FREEDOMS" giving these criminals more rights then the victims. when you have the court system giving house arrest for serious crime like murder, rape, robbery, and so on, then we as a society have a bigger problem then we think. a conservative government will get tough with these punks but will take time to clean up the mess left by the hug-a-thug liberals.

  • Kevin Power
    August 20, 2012 - 12:16

    Another frightening story of how life is changing in Newfoundland. These young morons are taking over, with their thieving and criminal ways. Time to take a tougher stand against these criminals, it is no longer safe for law abiding citizens.

    • D Penney
      August 20, 2012 - 14:04

      In reading this article, I believe that this young person had a problem and I feel very sad about this. I am not at all justifying his actions. However, the problem is much bigger and starts with dealers transporting drugs in Newfoundland. I look at this and think...it is someones child.