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Monessen pharmacy hit again

| Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
The Union Prescription Center on Donner Avenue in Monessen, was robbed on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.

For the second time in five months, the Union Pharmacy in Monessen has been robbed of prescription drugs at gunpoint.

The latest burglary occurred shortly after 2 p.m. Friday at the 401 Donner Ave. pharmacy.

A man entered the pharmacy, brandished what appeared to be a .45-caliber pistol and demanded that the owner Angela Borrello show him where the drugs are located.

He grabbed drugs and fled on foot west on Donner Avenue in the vicinity of Foodland. Police searched the area, but could not find him. Police believe he either changed clothing or got into a getaway car.

He specifically demanded such medications as Xanax and OxyContin, police said. Xanax commonly is prescribed for panic and anxiety disorders. OxyContin is a pain reliever.

There were seven people in the pharmacy, including employees, at the time of the burglary, police said.

The suspect is described as a thin, white male, about 6-feet tall. He wore blue jeans, a black hooded sweatshirt and a ski mask. A witness suggested the suspect had curly brown hair that was visible under the ski mask and hooded sweatshirt.

Shortly after the burglary, the Union Pharmacy was open for business.

Borrello declined comment Friday, demanding a reporter from The Valley Independent leave the store Friday.

On April 13, a man entered Union Pharmacy shortly after 12:30 p.m.

Wearing a dark ski mask and gray hooded sweatshirt, he pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his waistband and demanded OxyContin. In that crime, the suspect also demanded that Borrello escort him behind the counter to retrieve the drugs, which he took.

No cash was taken in either crime.

Police are still investigating the April 13 burglary. No suspect has been arrested in that case.

Monessen Police Chief John Manderino said it's too early in the investigation to determine if the same person committed both robberies.

Manderino said a similar burglary occurred a week to two ago in Rostraver Township. He said city police are reviewing that case to try to determine if there is any connection between the two crimes in neighboring municipalities.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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