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$2.5K reward offered for help in Monessen pharmacy robbery

| Friday, May 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Connecticut-based organization is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man who reportedly robbed a Monessen pharmacy of prescription painkillers on April 13.

About 12:35 p.m., the man — wearing a dark ski mask and hooded sweatshirt — walked into Union Prescription Center on Donner Avenue, police said. He allegedly demanded OxyContin and pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his waistband.

Monessen police Chief John Manderino said pharmacist-owner Angela Borrello gave the man an undetermined amount of medication before he fled.

“This was the first case where we had someone rob a pharmacy for just the pills,” Manderino said.

He said police have exhausted their leads on the robbery.

“At the moment, we're at a stalemate, so we're hoping the reward will entice someone to come forward with information,” Manderino said.

Police described the man as “bold and potentially dangerous.”

The suspect is described as a white man in his 20s with dark hair, between 5 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet, 10 inches.

Anyone with information should call the state Crime Stoppers Hotline at 888-479-8477.

The $2,500 reward is from Purdue Pharma L.P., which operates RxPATROL, a nationwide organization that collects and distributes information among the pharmaceutical industry, pharmacists and law enforcement agencies.

Purdue Pharma spokeswoman Shirley Johnson said pharmacies can opt in to the program. She said the organization scours news sources for pharmacy robberies.

“In this case, we found out about the robbery through the news and called Crime Stoppers to see what we could do to help,” she said.

Jewels Phraner is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com.

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