Last Updated: 8:52 p.m.
The Walgreens pharmacy at 1109 Palm Coast Parkway was the target of an armed robbery early Sunday morning. Three employees were tied up by the assailants, a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesperson confirmed, as the robbery unfolded.
The victims, who were 27, 24 and 22, were zip-ties and in at least one case strangled, according to reports to the 911 dispatch center.
At 10:45 this morning, someone in the Woodlands called 911 to report seeing an individual intentionally light a car on fire and flee in another car. Detectives believe the reported arson, of a Hyundai in front of 3 Blare Court, is connected to the armed robbery: though they did not recover anything from inside the car, they did recover items around it that traced back to the robbery, a sheriff’s spokesperson said this afternoon.
The Sheriff’s Office was reluctant to disseminate information about the alleged arson, but “a lot of people in the Woodlands were kind of frantic about any of this going on in their neighborhood,” a spokesperson said.
The area around the fire was closed to traffic for several hours. It had reopened after the incinerated vehicle was towed, after 5 p.m.
The robbery took place between 1:30 and 2 a.m. at the store, a 24-hour facility across the parkway from Palm Coast Ford. Three male employees were working at the time. They reported seeing either two or three assailants, masked and gloved (“they were completely covered,” the sheriff’s spokesperson said), armed with firearms.
A four-door dark sedan may have been involved as the getaway vehicle. “That’s what some person saw leaving out of that parking lot, it doesn’t mean that that’s the car,” the spokesperson said. Walgreens is equipped with surveillance cameras inside and outside.
A call to 911 reporting the robbery was placed at 2:04 a.m., apparently by a witness who was in a vehicle across the street, who saw the alleged assailants run out of the store, according to notes from the 911 dispatch center.
Little else is known at the moment, including what the assailants were after, though the Sheriff’s Office expects to have a fuller report later today. The spokesperson said that assailants targeting an all-night pharmacy are usually after money and drugs.
This afternoon, the sheriff’s office was not disclosing what the robbers had gotten away with, but 911 notes indicate Volusia County’s emergency helicopter was called in to assist in the search, and that some vehicles were pulled over or stopped and their occupants questioned in connection with the robbery, as was an individual at his home, until deputies concluded that the individuals were not involved. Video surveillance from Walgreens was secured.
“We’re confident that the vehicle arson and the Walgreens robbery are connected,” Sheriff Staly was quoted as saying in a release on both incidents issued this afternoon. “This is still a very active investigation with detectives, CSI and patrol doing everything we can to catch the suspects.”
Around 7 this morning there were five vehicles scattered around the parking lot–all civilian–but the store was closed, with a notice apologizing for the inconvenience and announcing a likely opening time of around 8:30 a.m.
The very same Walgreens was the target of an early morning robbery in June 2016. The assailant, Matthew Green, was caught the same day at his home on South Anderson Street in Bunnell thanks to surveillance images. Released from state prison just two years earlier, he had demanded hydromorphone, or Dilaudid, an opiod, and oxycodone. Last October, he was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to five years in prison.
If you have information on this case, call CrimeStoppers at 1-877-277-TIPS. You will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.00.
Do we really need 24-hour pharmacies???
Probably don’t need them but if one is open 24, the other has to be.
Speaking from very recent experience YES. Because toddlers don’t keep business hours for when they are injured, sick or require prescriptions.
It is vital to have 24 hr pharmacies with patients whom are discharged from ER late at night and for people that work all day until the wee hours of morning. However, I think only the Drive-thru window should be open. I would not want my loved ones working at a 24 hr Walgreens like this.
Agent O says
Yes blondee we do!!!
I’m gonna say “yes” since people tend to get sick at all times of the day/night… 🙄
Uh do we need 24-hour emergency care? JFC emergencies happen 24-hours a day and hospitals charge a ridiculous amount for medications. It’s cheaper at some place like Walgreens with 24-hour access.
Not necessary to have a 24 hr pharmacy. Stay in the hospital until the morning if you need meds
I know that after hours the pharmacy is locked up tight so unless the pharmacist was out of the pharmacy area they shouldn’t have been able to get to her/him. All they would have to do is put the window closure piece in and hide. Also yes we need 24 hour pharmacies I haven’t needed one for a while but raising 4 boys it seemed we had our own parking space at the e.r. and walgreens.
Well, chalk up another “crime happens everywhere” to Palm Coast. People can’t even get a job without worrying about getting killed around here. I’m glad no one was injured.
What would we do without FlaglerLive to keep us abreast of news and events in our community? You see the news here first!
Pretty sure it’s just the store that is open, not the pharmacy
Lord Chain says
Need is relative.
Don’t need a 24hr drive through at mc Donald’s
but if you get that Big Mac attack at 3:30 am
Be glad it’s there.
Stay in the hospital? Who do you have insurance with? Unless your life is deemed to be in danger, you are released as soon as they are done treating you. Not an option to just stay over night like a hotel. And you wouldn’t if you could…have you seen the cost of a day in the hospital??
It’s a hospital not a hotel.
Of course 24 hour pharmacies are needed! And you do no NOT have a say of what time you are discharged from the emergency room!! Let’s say you did though and all the ER rooms are filled and everyone is waiting to be discharged but chose to wait until morning then any new energencies would have to wait until those people left. It makes no sense. People need care and access to care and RX 24 hours and one day that might be you.
I’m glad no one was hurt in the robbery and hope they catch them.
Don’t blame the pharmacy for staying open. They were operating legally and peacefully.
Blame the criminals who violently robbed them!
David S says
Drive thru pharmacy only from 11pm to 7am then open inside of store.
“Open door” policy invite undesirable customers after 11p.m.
You could lock the door and ring a bell if you have a need to shop.
Employees would be able to keep the undesirables out.
Palm Coast Parkway is easy access to I-95 and robbers could head North or South. Same m/o when they rob the banks on the Parkway.
Good question. Is there a pharmacist there 24 hours?
Sandi Sites says
Hey, Lou – define undesirables?
Pat Patterson says
Good idea to just have drive thru open. Pharmacist could provide any medical supplies you needed at window even non-prescription medical items. Something Corporate needs to consider.
Undesirables are people that would go into a store, tie up employees and rob them at gun point. I think we’re all in consensus that we want to keep these people out.
Concerned Observer says
Yes, we do need 24-hour pharmacies. No, we do not need every pharmacy in town open 24-hours. Yes, crimes can and do happen at all hours, but the later the hour, the more likely crimes will occur.
While living in Germany a while back, pharmacies in the area rotated 24-hour operation. A schedule was posted in the inside the front door of the name, address and telephone number of the pharmacies that were open 24-hours on each day. Maybe one location from each chain could be open all night, alternating which locations were open within each chain on any given night. In that way, each chain would have an open pharmacy at any time. A sensible schedule could assure the open locations were not in close proximity to ease the burden on customers in need. It would take cooperation of the chains, but I believe their profit margin would actually increase with the lower overhead. Increased security could be focused on the fewer stores that were open. It sounds like a win-win situation to borrow a buzz-word phrase from a few years back.
Yes is just fine to have our pharmacies open 24 hours a day…as our ill people needs them. Why the sick should be denied meds because these delinquents and robbers are on the loose?
C’mon were our freedom, that we fight and even loose our lives for, is then.
We have too many among us that need drug /alcohol rehab and jobs and there is nothing out the for them.
Not all can cope cold turkey. ..
Yup just another it happens everywhere event here in PC where anything can and will
What’s the logic about the 24 hr stores question??? We don’t need robbers! That simple!
My mother and I were in there a few weeks back around 1 in the morning or so to get my brother medicine that was just getting released from the hospital from an accident. It was eerie and there and there was not enough security my mother and I talked about it. The guys in there are working we’re nice but they were all over stocking shelves and the pharmacist was just there by himself. I felt like maybe only the drive-thru should have been open. We needed other things as well for supplies and Gatorade etc… it definitely more security. I am glad that nobody got hurt
Yes we need a 24 hours pharmacy so the useless druggies could get their drugs all night long and Rob pharmacies which in turn creates jobs for the sheriffs department
Praying Mom says
Are all robberies committed only at night? Banks are not open 24 hours but they still get robbed. It is a necessity to have a 24 hrs pharmacy and yes, there is a pharmacist on staff 24/7.
The issue is not whether we need a 24 hrs pharmacy. The issue is the drug epidemic we are facing in this country. I bet you the robbers are repeat offenders who needed to get high or have “clients” waiting for their supply.
The issue is how the pharmaceutical companies have bought the moral conscience of our leaders to turn a blind eye and block legislation on meaning drug research that could some own curb the dependency on narcotics. I have seen so many people’s lives destroyed because of drug addiction .
Meanwhile, we have safe alternatives like CBD and THC in marijuana that could be so much more beneficial to so many but…alas!!! Marijuana has been demonized so much so that people who opt to suffer than try it as an alternative.
God help us!!
these businesses should close at 11-and allow only online ordering of items,prepaid before arrival….no more open doors
Why work when it’s easier to rob and steal?
It doesn’t matter if it was 24 hrs or not people are still going to rob cheat and pillage no matter what the circumstances are. If they want drugs bad enough they will wait till the place opens and rob it than which just puts more people in danger due to the fact that there would be more people present at the time of the robbery
Now, that’s common sense!!! Totally agree with you
Undesirable = masked person displaying a gun
I can’t believe some of the comments I’m reading.
“Do we really need 24 hour pharmacies?” – Are you serious? You’ve never been a parent before obviously. Or injured or ill yourself I guess.
“Just stay at the hospital until morning” – This was the dumbest of them all. I think it’s safe to assume that you have never been to the ER before. It’s a hospital, not a hotel.
“Don’t let the undesirables in” – What the hell kind of logic is this? Who’s going to be the police of who and who isn’t desirable? People that rob stores and commit crimes don’t all look a certain way – not sure if you know that. They all don’t wear a shirt that says “Undesirable”. A female in a business suit could rob the store just as easily as a dude dressed in all black.
And regarding the different stores rotating who stays open 24 hours (this is a good idea in theory, so you don’t get grouped with the others). This just would never fly with our greedy US corporations. They would be giving up revenue at that moment and also possibly in the future. And having to transfer prescriptions at that time of night would be impossible since only one of them would be open, and getting them to somehow use the same software for prescriptions would be a nightmare. It just wouldn’t work unfortunaley.
I think that these places need to have security at the front or outside from 11pm-6am. Someone that is coming to rob a store is going to turn right around if they see a security officer – especially if that security officer is armed. I think spending a $1000 a week to ensure the safety of the employees and customers overnight is an easy decision that a company would make.
Liz M says
When my husband was sick and in home hospice, I needed emergency medication twice in the wee hours of the am. Thank God for 24 hour Walgreens. Maybe they should have security at this particular Walgreens at night letting people in and out.
Well according to the Bunnell Sheriff , because pharmacies bring crime, we shouldn’t have them in our cities isn’t that what they said about medical marijuana smh
I love reading all these replies.
Just wait for it says
years ago if you where released from ER or Hospital after 7 pm when most pharmacies were closed you were sent home with enough meds to get you thought to the next day when they were open.
good american says
The comments here are sometimes better than the story. Joshua hit it on the nose. As many of these comments show how people or so much out of reality, or haven’t
left their home, or computer, in ages.
Flaglerlive writes an informative article, and the commenters pick the most insignificant part of it to troll and/or dissect.
Praying Mom says
Only God can fix stupid. I give up!!