Man snatches pain killers from hospital pharmacy

Posted: Sunday, February 24, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A man barged into Providence Alaska Medical Center's pharmacy Friday afternoon and stole an undisclosed quantity of a powerful pain killer, then apparently escaped in a distinctive vehicle -- a van from Hooters Restaurant.

Police were called to the hospital at 4:37 p.m. Officer John Daily said a man dashed into the back room, grabbed OxyContin, and ran through the lobby into the parking garage. Hospital security officers gave chase as the man continued running south.

Witnesses in nearby University of Alaska Anchorage student housing told police they saw a man matching the suspect's description drive off in a white Hooters van.

Larry Caudle, owner of the Hooters, said he loaned the van to two men he'd hired to repair tile in the restaurant's bathroom. The men told him they needed the van to pick up supplies.

Police recovered the van Saturday.

''It'd be pretty stupid to try to run away in a Hooters van,'' Caudle said. ''It's not exactly low profile.''

OxyContin is a prescription narcotic. Drug abusers crush it, snort it or inject it, getting a high off an entire 12-hour dose all at once.

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