A trio of masked robbers made off with “thousands of dollars” in narcotics in South Surrey Tuesday, during a brazen afternoon incident at the Grandview Corners Pharmasave.
Staff Sgt. Dale Carr said police were alerted to the robbery at the 2448 160 St. pharmacy around 4 p.m., after three males brandishing batons entered.
“Two of them went directly to the pharmacy and one went to the till,” Carr said. “One demanded drugs or narcotics, and the other was demanding cash.”
In addition to quantities of morphine, fentanyl and oxycontin, the robbers – wearing dark clothing, gloves and with their faces covered – fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Fentanyl is the same drug that police and public health officials issued a warning over earlier this year, following a spike in overdose deaths tied to it. The opioid painkiller – was linked to 29 overdose deaths in Vancouver in 2014, along with 18 in Langley and 15 in Surrey.
“They’ve been selling it as heroin and people overuse it and die,” Carr said.
While he couldn’t say if that was the intent of those behind Tuesday’s crime, it is “always a concern that any of this stuff would be crushed up and sold as something else.”
The robbers were seen fleeing the scene northbound on 160 Street in a red Pontiac Grand Am.
While canvassing the area, investigators spoke with witnesses who reported seeing the car near 162 Street and 26 Avenue “immediately after” the robbery, Carr said. They told police two of three occupants got out of the Grand Am and into a black SUV.
Carr said while the detail appears to indicate planning on the part of perpetrators, it is unclear if more than the three initial culprits are involved.
Investigators will continue to canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and for video footage that may have captured the robbers’ images prior to the crime, he said.
Anyone with information that may help the investigation is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.