CHURCH HILL — Police are hoping the public can help them identify a man who robbed the Food City pharmacy in Church Hill Thursday of an undisclosed amount of pills.
Photos of the suspect and his vehicle, which were captured from store surveillance video, were sent to media outlets across the region shortly after the robbery took place.
Around 3:30 p.m. the Church Hill Police Department officers responded to Food City at the intersection of Silver Lake Road and Highway 11-W on a report of an armed robbery at the store’s pharmacy.
CHPD Chief Mark Johnson said the suspect handed a note to a pharmacist demanding a list of various narcotic drugs.
The note also stated that if he did not get all the pills on his list, “all pharmacy workers will die.”
The robber verbally stated to one worker that if he didn't get the pills within 20 seconds, he would shoot them all.
No handgun was brandished during the robbery, but one Food City employee told police there was an object bulging from the man’s shirt at the waistband that could have been a handgun.
The suspect obtained an undisclosed amount and type of pills and ran from the store.
He then got into a maroon Chevrolet Malibu, probably a 1999 to 2002 model, and fled the area.
Johnson said footage from the Redflex traffic photo enforcement cameras in Mount Carmel and Kingsport were checked, and the vehicle didn’t travel in that direction.
That would leave a westerly escape route toward Rogersville, or possibly north to Carters Valley Road, and then east or west.
Johnson said there was a license plate on the front of the car. That might indicate this was an out-of-state vehicle, assuming that was a state license plate, because Tennessee only issues rear tags.
“He didn’t talk with a local accent,” Johnson added. “It wasn’t particularly a northern accent, but one of the workers said he didn’t sound like he was born and raised here.”
The suspect is described as a white male standing about 6 feet tall, weighing 170-180 pounds, and with dark hair.
He was wearing blue jeans, a white button-up shirt, a camo fishing hat, and black sunglasses.
Employees said he has a scar on the right side of face, or above his right eye.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect’s photo or vehicle is asked to contact the CHPD by calling (423) 357-7181 or email email@example.com.