Pharmacist Risks Life to Stop Drug Theft

A Florida pharmacy owner recently averted a pharmaceutical theft when he wrestled the would-be robber’s gun out of his hand.

Snehal Patel owns Money Saver Pharmacy in New Port Richey, Florida, and told the St. Petersburg Times that he stays calm under pressure.

“You have to be calm,” said the 37-year-old Patel. “That’s when you think clearly.”

The incident occurred when a man walked into Patel’s pharmacy and demanded a female technician give him all of the store’s painkiller oxycodone at gunpoint. Patel waited for the man to become distracted and then grabbed the muzzle of the robber’s .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

A struggle ensued and the gun fired into the floor, burning Patel’s hand. However, he was able to get the magazine out of the gun at which point the robber fled the store.

Police found the 35-year-old suspect just minutes later, hiding out in a garage.

The theft of pharmaceuticals presents a number of health risks. Often times criminals tamper with the drugs, making them potentially toxic. Even if the thieves don’t alter the drug content, it is rare that they handle and store them properly, which can diminish their effectiveness.