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Pharmacy robbers caught by trail of empty medicine bottles in Clearwater, deputies say

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Posted at 12:56 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 01:10:17-05

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Detectives found and arrested two men for the armed robbery of a Clearwater pharmacy after following a trail of discarded medicine bottles, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said on Thursday.

Authorities arrested David Dobbins, 19, and Cristopher Rachell, 19, on New Year's Day. Police say they robbed the CVS on Highway 19 around 5:19 that morning.

Detectives say Dobbins, Rachell and another man were armed when they entered the store and forced the pharmacist to open two safes full of opioids.

Authorities say one suspect jumped the pharmacy counter and forced the pharmacist to open the safes while the other suspects confronted two store employees.

Detectives say the men tied the employees up and moved them to the pharmacy. The employees were not injured in the incident and called 911 after the men left.

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The suspects filled up garbage bags with the pills and left the scene in a white sedan. Detectives say a trail of discarded bottles led them to a home on West Avenue.

At the home, authorities say they found a white sedan in the driveway and the two suspects inside. The sheriff's office says neither would speak with detectives.

Dobbins is charged with one count armed robbery, three counts false imprisonment, one count trafficking in Hydrocodone and one count trafficking in Oxycodone.

Rachell is charged with one count armed robbery, three counts false imprisonment, two counts trafficking in Hydrocodone and one count possession of Oxycodone.

The identity of the third suspect is unknown.