Knife held to ribs in robbery

A brazen 10am pharmacy robbery on the weekend sparked a manhunt in the NSW Central West town of Bathurst

A man has been refused bail at Bathurst Courthouse following his arrest on Monday night for the robbery, in which he used a knife to demand drugs.

At about 9.50am on Sunday, March 25, Lawrence Trindall is alleged to have entered the Blooms The Chemist store in the Bathurst Chase Shopping Centre, and walked straight into the dispensary, brandishing a steak knife which he held to the ribs of a 25-year-old pharmacist.

He allegedly demanded drugs of addiction from the pharmacy’s safe.

“The pharmacist opened the safe and gave him the medications, after which he exited the pharmacy,” a spokesperson for Blooms the Chemist said in a statement.

Police say that Mr Trindall had earlier gone into the Coles supermarket in the same shopping centre as the Blooms pharmacy and stolen the knife, which they say was the same knife used to rob the pharmacy.

According to local paper the Western Advocate, Mr Trindall fled after obtaining the drugs.

Neither the pharmacist nor another person working in the shop were physically harmed.

“The pharmacist who was held at knifepoint was sent home after giving statements to the police,” said Blooms. “Although another staff member was in the store at the time of the robbery, they didn’t witness the event.

“All staff members have been offered counselling services, regardless of whether they were directly involved in the incident or not.

“Bathurst is a close-knit community and the safety of staff and local customers is paramount for Blooms The Chemist Bathurst Chase.”

Bathurst police located the alleged robber the next day, just after 9pm on Monday, at a home in the suburb of Kelso.

Chifley Police District crime manager Detective Inspector Luke Rankin told the Western Advocate that police had used CCTV footage from the pharmacy, the Coles supermarket and the shopping centre, and assigned additional detectives to the case in order to facilitate an arrest.

“Thankfully robberies are unusual events for Bathurst and armed robberies are even fewer,” he said.

“This [alleged offence] was brazen, it occurred at 10am in a busy shopping centre.”

Blooms the Chemist Bathurst Chase has since reopened its doors and is trading as usual.

Pharmacists who are distressed can contact the Pharmacists’ Support Service here or on 1300 244 910.

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