Pharmacies have frequently been targeted in armed robberies
PHARMACIES have repeatedly been targeted in armed robberies, some violent, in recent years.
In August, members of staff at Coopers Pharmacy on the Andersonstown Road in west Belfast were injured after they restrained a knife-wielding robber.
The man had come into the shop and demanded money and drugs.
In the same month, a masked man armed with a gun made off with codeine tablets - a strong painkiller - from a pharmacy on the Lisburn Road in south Belfast.
In October 2012, a 27-year-old man was hit on the head and face during an armed robbery at a pharmacy in Lisburn.
Two masked men, one armed with a gun, demanded drugs from the shop on Knockmore Road.
One of the men hit the 27-year-old and forced him to open the drug store.
In July 2011, a chemist at Medicare pharmacy at Carrick Hill in north Belfast was threatened by a man wielding a bread knife who demanded cash, diazepam - a sedative - and temazepam - a strong sleeping tablet.
A man was later jailed for the robbery.
In the same month, a knife was held to the throat of a female staff member at a west Belfast pharmacy.
Two men, one armed with a knife and the other with a baseball bat, demanded pills and cash from staff. One of the men was apprehended by customers and passers-by.
Barman Brian 'Rocky' Morgan, who caught one of the offenders as he tried to make his escape, said the attack was "one too many" for people in the area who decided to take on the armed thugs.