A pharmacist pushed a knife-wielding robber to the ground over the weekend so he could escape his own pharmacy to get help.
At around 10am on Sunday, a man entered the dispensary at the Maroubra Beach Pharmacy and demanded medicines and cash from the owner Ma Hady, who told AJP the experience was “really horrible”.
“A man came in with a balaclava and a knife, and he went into the pharmacy and closed the main door, and suddenly he came into the dispensary area with a knife, asking me especially for Serapax and Valium, Ritalin and Oxycontin,” Hady says.
Hady complied with the request, but the man then demanded the safe key.
“I said I don’t have it. He said, ‘if you don’t give it to me, I stab you’. I said, ‘okay, I’ll have a look’. He kept asking, ‘where is the money?’
“Next to the till there was money. He took all of that, and then he asked for my mobile phone.”
The man then attempted to open the till, giving Hady a chance to attempt to flee – but it turned out the front door of the pharmacy was locked.
“He said, ‘don’t go out or I stab you’. I pushed him strongly and he fell down, and then I was outside and screaming for help.”
Hady says that he and a bystander chased the robber, and after five minutes the police arrived and arrested the man.
“It was really horrible – around 15 or 20 minutes he was in here, he was spending time and just wouldn’t leave,” he told the AJP.
Hady says he found the ordeal “really shocking” but is unharmed. He also says he’s going to be vigilant about ensuring the door to the dispensary is locked.
“That’s why he can quickly come inside the dispensary – that day the door was not locked.”
Regular customers have rallied around Hady, asking him to ensure he takes care of himself, he says.
“I’ve been seven years in this area, in this pharmacy, and my customers are all close to me – everyone was wondering what happened. They’re very good people. So I think he [the robber] is not from this area.
“We’re only a very small business, and just surviving – not a big business at all. We just like helping people in the community.”
Police took the robber to Maroubra Police Station where he was charged with armed robbery.
It’s not the first time a pharmacy in the area has been targeted recently: in July a man and woman were charged following investigations into a pharmacy robbery at Matraville. The charges related to four other alleged armed robberies that month.
Pharmacists’ Support Service 1300 244 910