An attempted theft of prescription drugs from the Greencastle Kroger pharmacy seems to have been doomed from the start.
While the would-be bandit in Wednesday evening's incident fled the scene without any narcotics or stolen cash, his timing was certainly suspect from the beginning.
Just prior to the 6:45 p.m. robbery attempt, a correctional officer, in full uniform, was in line at the pharmacy counter, Greencastle Assistant Police Chief Brian Hopkins reported.
"You can see him kind of go, 'Oh, crap,' and then kind of change his mind and close the door," Hopkins said, explaining the man quickly disappears from camera view.
"He probably thought she was a police officer," he said. "Those uniforms do look like police uniforms."
When the correctional officer left the store a few moments later, she reported spotting the suspect outside, Hopkins said. As she exited, he was sitting conspicuously atop a couple of pallets where softener salt is often stacked outside the pharmacy entrance.
As soon as the correctional officer left, the suspect entered the store.
Greencastle officers were called to the 821 Indianapolis Rd. scene at 6:46 p.m.
Store personnel advised police that the suspect was a white male, approximately 5-feet, 5-inches tall with sandy blond hair and blue eyes.
The suspect reportedly jumped over the pharmacy counter, stating, "This is a robbery. I have a pistol, give me all your Norco."
Norco is a listed as a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Considered similar to Vicodin, it is used to relieve moderate to severe pain.
The suspect, said to be wearing fairly new tan coveralls, a hooded sweatshirt and a black ski mask, never actually showed a handgun, only stating that he had one.
When the female Kroger pharmacist refused to comply with his demands, the suspect reportedly started pacing behind the pharmacy counter. Unable to locate any narcotics, the suspect jumped back over the counter and exited the building.
Police indicated the suspect fled without taking any drugs or cash.
"He didn't get anything," Hopkins assured.
Because the would-be thief concealed his features well by wearing the hoodie and ski mask, police said determining an age range proved difficult.
"Talking to people outside," Assistant Chief Hopkins said, "he appeared to be younger."
Witnesses saw the suspect running toward the wooded area to the west of the Kroger store.
Putnam County Sheriff's Department deputies assisted with a search of the vicinity while GPD Det. Michael Collins processed the scene.
Deputy Nate O'Hair brought his canine in to follow the suspect's trail but the scent was apparently lost in the mist and dampness of the evening, Hopkins said.
One of the keys to the intruder's identity might be the coveralls he was wearing, which appeared to be quite new, Hopkins told the Banner Graphic.
"We hope someone might call in and say they knew someone (fitting the suspect's description) who just got some new coveralls like that," Hopkins noted.
Anyone has information about the Wednesday evening incident or a possible suspect in the case is asked to contact the Greencastle Police Department at 653-2925.
Officers at the scene included Greencastle Patrolmen Nick Eastham and Matt Huffman and PCSD Deputies Mike Downing, Craig Sibbitt and O'Hair.