Lawrence police were still searching Tuesday evening for a man who stole narcotic pain reliever patches Tuesday morning from Orchards Drug and later took a vehicle to flee officers.
Police Sgt. Michael Monroe described the suspect as a white male in his mid-40s, with a thin build, wearing a jean jacket, black hat and a scarf.
Mark Smith, the Orchards pharmacist-in-charge, said a man had come into the store about 8:20 a.m. and inquired about Fentanyl patches. After a discussion with Smith and two interns about pricing, the man suddenly made a move.
“He just ran back and grabbed it and ran out of the store,” Smith said.
Police said the suspect did not display a weapon during the robbery.
Smith estimated the man took $750 worth of medication. While on the phone with 911 dispatchers, Smith followed the man east of the building and into the nearby neighborhood.
Minutes later, the suspect approached Jo Anne Kready’s porch in the 1400 block of Lawrence Avenue.
“He was trying to go in the house. She closed the door real fast,” Smith said.
Kready said she saw the man approaching her porch. But Smith was still behind the man and yelled at Kready not to let him inside.
“He made it in (the house) a little bit,” she said.
The man then ran to the street, where he flagged down a passing motorist near Lawrence Avenue and Bob Billings Parkway — just as police were arriving.
The suspect got into the passenger side of the black Honda Ridgeline sport-utility vehicle. The driver got out, Monroe said, and the suspect got behind the wheel and drove east on Bob Billings Parkway.
Minutes later, the suspect was involved in a minor noninjury accident with another vehicle at Bob Billings Parkway and Iowa Street.
Police later spotted the SUV abandoned near the Kansas University Computer Center, 1001 Sunnyside Ave.
At 11:30 a.m. officers stopped a woman in a vehicle at the Phillips 66 station, 2434 Iowa.
Monroe said that was a lead police were following up on but he could not say yet whether it was related to the robbery investigation.
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