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Robber takes pain pills, cash from North Dakota drugstore

MAYVILLE, N.D. - A masked gunman robbed more than 200 pain pills and $300 in cash from a Mayville, N.D. drugstore Monday.

Traill County Sheriff Mike Crocker said his office received a report at 10:22 a.m. of a robbery at Aasen Drug on the corner of Center Avenue and Main Street.

Crocker said it's not clear if the heist is related to those in the Grand Forks area, if this robber is a copycat, or if he's a Mayville original.

"We're still doing our investigation, piecing this crime together, so we can't answer that question right now," he said.

Crocker said the robber came to the pharmacy counter in the back of the store, demanded OxyContin and received 100 40-milligram doses, 100 20-milligram doses and an unknown number of 10-milligram doses of the painkiller.

"He had blue eyes, and he was carrying a silver and black semiautomatic handgun," Crocker said. "He laid it on the counter in the direction of the employee."

"On his way out, he opened the cash registers and removed $300 worth of cash."

The robber came and went through a side door next to the store's pharmacy counter. Once out the door, no one saw which direction he went, Crocker said.

A passer-by reported seeing a dark-colored sedan that possibly had Minnesota handicap plates. The sheriff said investigators have not determined if a second person was waiting in the car, which authorities believe was parked in the lot of the Super 8 Motel behind the drugstore, across an alley.

The suspect was described as a slender white man standing 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall. He wore a dark sweatshirt with the hood tightened around his face, a dark mask covering the lower half of his face and blue jeans.

Crocker said three pharmacy employees were present when the robber showed up, but he didn't know if customers were in the store, which has no security cameras.

A detective from the Grand Forks Police Department and officers from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation went to Mayville on Monday to help with the case.

Notable differences between descriptions from the Mayville robbery and those in the Grand Forks area include the robber's eye color (blue in Mayville and brown in the Grand Forks area) and the possible vehicle color (white in East Grand Forks, Minn., and dark-colored in Mayville).

Crocker said the gun displayed at the pharmacy was silver with a black stripe down the side. A clerk from Orton's Point Tesoro in East Grand Forks said the robber there showed a black semiautomatic handgun with a silver stripe down the barrel.

Crocker said it's probably been about 15 years since a robbery occurred in his county.

"Normally, we don't have a lot of violent crime," he said. "It's just something people and us aren't used to around here."