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Cops collar four in pharmacy robbery

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Police cuffed four guys who allegedly held up an Avenue U pharmacy on Sept. 27 — and now they are investigating whether the crew is tied to a recent string of drugstore robberies in the area.

The group burst into the shop between E. 66th and E. 68th streets at about 1:15 pm — one threatened to shoot a clerk if he did not give him access to a safe and Oxycodone while others went behind the register and swiped 20 cartons of cigarettes, police said.

They did not make off with any drugs, but one grabbed a woman’s Louis Vuitton bag containing cash, bank cards, a cellphone, and identification cards before fleeing, according to a police report.

Cops arrested the four in a car on the corner of Avenue U and Flatbush Avenue at 1:43 pm, officials said.

They recovered one 45-caliber hand gun, but no one would fess up to owning it, so officers charged all four with possession of a firearm, according to authorities.

Two of the suspects are from Canarsie, one is from East Flatbush, and the fourth lives in Flatlands, according to law enforcement sources.

Cops are investigating whether the alleged bandits are the same people who stuck up area drugstores for more than $1,000 and $4,000 worth of prescription pills over the last month, officials said.

Those robberies are as follows:

• Two people hit an Avenue T pharmacy in Mill Basin at 10:20 am on Aug. 16, threatening an employee with a handgun and demanding cash and drugs, police said. An employee at the store, which is between E. 58th and E. 59th streets, handed over $150 and $4,000 in drugs, including Oxycodone and Ritalin, officials said.

• Then three guys robbed a Flatbush Avenue cigar shop in Flatlands on Sept. 1. They busted into the store between Baughman Place and Troy Avenue at 4:20 pm, waving a gun in the clerk’s face and making off with $300, five cartons of cigarettes, and 10 packages of rolling papers, according to authorities.

• The same three mentioned above struck a pharmacy at the corner of Quentin Road and E. 36th Street in Marine Park on Sept. 8, pointing a pistol at the staffer at 3 pm and fleeing with $300 and two bottles of Oxycodone.

• Then a trio of nogoodniks held up a Utica Avenue pharmacy in East Flatbush on Sept. 13. All went into the drug store between Snyder and Tilden Avenues at 5:15 pm, one of them took out the gun and demanded money and cellphones, and the store employee handed over $300 and two phones, according to authorities.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding the incidents to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577–8477, or for Spanish, (888) 57–PISTA (74782). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:57 pm, July 9, 2018
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