2 arrested after armed robbery at Winston-Salem Harris Teeter Pharmacy

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Two people have been arrested after an armed robbery at a Harris Teeter Pharmacy in Winston-Salem, according to a news release from Winston-Salem police.

Steven Austin-Ziglar Brown, 19, and George Renard Burnette, 19, both of Winston-Salem, are each charged with armed robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The robbery happened at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Harris Teeter Pharmacy located at 1955 North Peace Haven Road.

Police say one suspect pointed a gun at the pharmacist and the other jumped over the counter and took prescription medications.

No injuries were reported.

However, this is a problem putting other local pharmacists on alert.

“It is a little disheartening when you see these basically daily increases of pharmacy robberies. It makes you think, 'What can we do to protect ourselves and our business?'” said Steven Koontz, pharmacist manager at High Point Family Pharmacy.

Koontz has been a pharmacist for three decades and says this is not a new trend.

He says he thinks money and drugs motivate the crimes.

“Some people have reached the desperation point and so what they'll do is attempt to rob a pharmacy,” he said.

Tuesday night's crime is the third pharmacy robbery in the Triad in the past month.

On Jan. 15, police tell FOX8 two people walked into the CVS Pharmacy on coliseum drive in Winston-Salem where one pointed a gun at a clerk, took cash and ran out.

In Greensboro, a man is accused of doing the same thing at a CVS on West Florida Street on New Year's Eve morning.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2016 alone, more 800 pharmacies were robbed. Twenty-eight of them were in North Carolina.

“Most of your pharmacies are in contact with each other on a daily basis. When something does happen, we try to spread the word as quickly as possible, notifying the immediate local ones and then police will usually send out alerts,” Koontz said.

Brown and Burnette are being held under $100,000 secured bonds.