Police release Sultan pharmacy robbery information update

Officers on the lookout for new suspect vehicle

Kelly Sullivan

Sultan Police are still searching for the armed robbers that stole prescription medications from the Sultan Pharmacy and Natural Care on April 11.

Tips and conversations on social media have helped investigators and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office eliminate a vehicle believed to have possibly been driven by the suspects, which had been seen in the area at the time of the robbery. Sultan Police Chief Steve McDonald said it was potentially an older Saturn Ion.

Eric Fagan, lead detective on the case, said video surveillance positively identified a plateless Audi seen leaving the parking lot, believed to be a 2002 model.

“Unfortunately at this point that is where it’s ended,” he said.

Other information has been received from members of the public, but nothing that has turned up any concrete evidence or led to the identification of the suspects, Fagan said.

The robbery occurred at about 6:56 p.m., just as employees were about to lock up. Pharmacy technician Curtis Hovander was closest to the front doors, and had been on duty with two coworkers when the suspects entered the store. He said he was immediately faced with a drawn gun.

Hovander put his hands up. What was likely two men, or one man and one woman with a low-pitched voice, in their late teens or early 20s, shouted they were looking for prescription drugs. One suspect wore black clothing and shoes, and the other wore a gray hoodie. Both wore blue gloves and masks. 

Fagan said the genders of the suspects have not yet been confirmed.

The suspects came and left within about a minute. Staff immediately contacted law enforcement. The police arrived soon after, but were too late to catch the suspects. They fled westbound on U.S. Highway 2 in their vehicle.

Fagan said this type of robbery is becoming increasingly common in Snohomish and King counties, and in other jurisdictions throughout Washington. Masked suspects will either jump over a counter or walk around a counter to take prescription drugs. Sometimes the act is successful; sometimes it is not. He said the crime is often related to drug use in some capacity.

Witness statements and other evidence makes the identification and capture of suspects in these cases successful, Fagan said. The lack of either “adds difficulty to it. It doesn’t means it’s impossible, it just adds that extra layer of difficulty,” he said.

Using social media as a way to glean tips from the public is not uncommon, and it depends on the preferences and policies of the investigative team covering the case, Fagan said.

McDonald advised the public to call in with any information regarding the armed robbers. The two are not safe to approach.

Because a weapon was shown during the pharmacy robbery, it is unknown whether the suspects would use it if confronted, Fagan said.

“We don’t want the public to intervene and potentially put themselves in harm’s way,” he said.

To report any information, contact Detective Michael Hawthorne at 425-388-6261 or Detective Eric Fagan at 425-388-3592.

Image courtesy of Sultan Police: The Sultan Police Department has now identified this vehicle as being involved in the robbery at the Sultan Pharmacy and Natural Care on Tuesday, April 11.


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