Stephen Ellison

Three Suspects Arrested in Robbery at Benicia CVS Pharmacy

A drug store robbery in Benicia turned even more dangerous Thursday when the thieves took off and police chased them into a Pleasant Hill neighborhood.

Three suspects, two men and a woman, were arrested in the robbery.

It's a crime that's been trending: people robbing pharmacies for drugs rather than cash. Police said the thieves entered a CVS store in Benicia, went to the pharmacy, jumped the counter and made away with several bags of narcotics.

Police chased the suspects to Pleasant Hill, where the trio ditched their car and took off on foot.

A shelter in place was issued while police set up a perimeter and brought in K-9 units to help locate the suspects. They found both male suspects first, one hiding behind an apartment complex and another under a freeway overpass. The third suspect, a woman believed to be the getaway driver, also was arrested.

"We’re just happy we were able to number one, get these gentlemen off the streets, and number two, make sure the public is now safe," Benicia police Lt. Damiean Sylvester said.

Neighbor Erin Branam said she’s never been so scared. She and her baby hid in the closet as one of the suspects crouched under her porch.

"It’s the most terrifying thing you can think of to be stuck in a situation with armed people who are dangerous under your porch," Branam said. "It changes your day."

Benicia police say it’s the second time in a month narcotics seeking robbers have hit the same CVS.

Thieves are targeting pharmacies across the Bay Area, police said, trying to steal narcotics that they sell on the black market.

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