Two robbery attempts were reported Dec. 13, one in Pleasanton at about 12:20 at a Rite Aid pharmacy in the 2800 block of Hopyard Road and, minutes later, at Safeway in Dublin.
A Rite Aid employee told police a lone man entered the pharmacy and presented a note claiming to have a gun and demanding narcotics. The staff did not comply and the suspect fled the store on foot.
The suspect is described as an unshaven white male in his early 30s, 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 130 to 140 pounds. He was described as having a very red facial complexion and was wearing a light brown jacket and brown beanie cap.
The Dublin store was locked down for about an hour, from about 12:40 to 1:40 p.m., after the pharmacy was robbed, witnesses said.
A Salvation Army volunteer outside the store said police told her to move her kettle and stay away from windows during the lockdown.
As of about 2 p.m., technicians from Dublin police were still on the scene processing evidence.
"They got some prescription medications, some Norco and a different derivative of Oxycontin, Percocet," said Dublin Lt. Steve Brown.
He described the suspect as 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing around 200 pounds.
Police now believe that at least two men are involved in the pharmacy holdups and holdup attempts, because witness descriptions are varied.
"The descriptions are too different," said Pleasanton police Sgt. Kurt Schlehuber.
Two similar robbery attempts took place on Dec. 12, also just minutes apart. One occurred at about 6:15 p.m. at the Lucky pharmacy at 6155 W. Las Positas Boulevard.
In that incident, a lone suspect also presented a demand note for narcotics and claimed to have a gun. That suspect also fled without getting any drugs. As with the Dec. 13 incident, no weapon was seen and no one was injured.
The suspect in that holdup attempt was described as an unshaven white or Middle Eastern man, 30 to 40 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 190 pounds. He was wearing a blue shirt and gray sweat pants.
That holdup attempt came minutes after a similar robbery attempt at about 6 p.m. at the CVS pharmacy on Regional Street in Dublin.
No weapon was seen and no one was injured in any of the incidents.
Pleasanton police are working with police from Dublin and Livermore to determine if the attempted robberies are related to recent similar crimes in those jurisdictions.
Police have received some tips, but so far, none have panned out, Schlehuber said.
"When one agency gets a break, they'll share it with us and that'll help us solve the case," he said.
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Pleasanton Police Department at 951-5100.