Search for man accused of robbing local pharmacy in broad daylight

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. — In Columbia County, a man is accused of walking into a local pharmacy with a gun in broad daylight.

Investigators with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office say the man walked right into the North Florida Pharmacy of Fort White and robbed them.

“I was trying to run up to the front of the pharmacy and lock the door before the guy could come in,” said Kyle Lichlyter, manager of North Florida Pharmacy of Fort White. “By the time I got out of my office and was walking up to the door he was already coming into the building.”

It’s the second time in six months the North Florida Pharmacy of Fort White has been hit and the sheriff’s office said there’s a strong chance it’s the same person.

Security video given to Action News Jax shows the man drop his gun, struggling to pick it up before he walks into the pharmacy. When he does, he approaches the counter, pulls out a large bag and throws it to an employee.

That employee was the Lichlyter, who said the robber only demanded drugs, not money.

“Assuming its the same guy as last time, which I think it is, the last time he wanted Percocet’s, oxycodone oxycotten,” Lichlyter said. “This time he wanted the same stuff and then when we got in there he started asking for more stuff.”

Investigators say the man showed up in a blue or silver Hyundai Sonata, but in August it was a white Ford pickup truck. He was last seen wearing gloves, a mask, navy blue pants, dark colored jacket and camouflage hat.

“The method of operation is very similar the difference this time is that he was in a different vehicle,” Sergeant Steven Khachigan with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said.

It happened just before 4 p.m., a time when anybody could’ve been inside the pharmacy. Lichlyter said he tried to keep the man and did what he was asked.

“We had a person in the drive-thru when the guy was leaving, we had two cars, we had a customer walking in when he walked out and another customer walking when the cops pulled up,” Lichlyter said.

The search continues for the robber, but Lichlyter said he’s happy nobody was hurt.

“I have three little boys and my wife is pregnant with our fourth boy and due any day now. So, when those things crossed my mind it was like, ‘OK,’” Lichlyter said. “Other than the guy getting caught the best case scenario happened, none of of us were injured physically but emotionally we are all dealing with it.”

Sgt. Khachigan said the police department in Lake City recently dealt with a robbery a couple weeks ago at a different pharmacy; they believe there are similarities and that they could be dealing with the same person.

The sheriff’s office said it’s tough to tell an identity or even age because the man was wearing a mask, but they’re asking the community here to keep their eyes peeled.