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'OxyContin Bandit' has neighbors concerned for safety

Police suspect same man in at least ten attempts

MADISON, Wis. - A recent string of pharmacy robberies has Madison neighbors concerned for their safety.

Police suspect the same man is to blame for at least ten thefts and robbery attempts across southern Wisconsin.

The latest incident happened Thursday evening when a man entered the Walgreen's at 4518 Cottage Grove Road in Madison, approached the pharmacy, and handed employees behind the counter a note demanding OxyContin. According to police, the man was wearing a blue/black jacket with the hood pulled up and dirty jeans. Staff refused to give him any drugs.

Forty minutes later, a man fitting the same description went into the Edgerton Pharmacy at 711 N. Main Street and threatened pharmacists there for OxyContin and oxycodone. He fled with an undetermined amount of medication. Surveillance photos did catch him on camera.

Police believe the man, described as a white man in his 20s or 30s standing about 5 feet 11 inches tall with a "chubby" build, short brown hair, and a mustache, is committing similar crimes all over Madison, Dane County, and Rock County.


Jimmy Hill lives across the street from the Walgreen's on Cottage Grove Road with his fiancee and four children. He was not aware of the Thursday's robbery attempt, but said he is concerned for his family's safety.

"For that kind of thing to be happening in your own backyard, and just for somebody to be able to just walk in and do something like that at random without really some sort of security process," Hill said.

This is the second time someone has tried to steal drugs from that east side location since November. In another situation, a man called in to the pharmacy, claimed he had a gun, and threatened employees to leave powerful pain killers where he could get them.

In other similar incidents, a man passed a threatening note to a pharmacist at Walgreen's stores in Janesville, Beloit, and a number of stores in Madison.

A billboard visible from the Beltline now displays a police sketch of the suspect to commuters. Hill hopes the face shown will be found by authorities soon.

"Obviously, it's somebody who's got nothing else to lose. He's just doing it," Hill said.

Madison police said anyone with any information on the man's identity should call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014. Callers could be eligible for a cash reward.

Anyone with information about the Edgerton case is asked to call the Edgerton Police Department at 608-884-3321 or Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636.


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