CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Owners of Fruth Pharmacy on Oakwood Road have beefed up security since two people were robbed in the pharmacy parking lot last month.
Nice Cook of Charleston was robbed just before 5 p.m. March 29 when a black teenager hopped into her car and held her at gunpoint. The teen made off with Cook's purse, then robbed a man who tried to help her.
Police believe the 16-year-old who robbed the pair is the same teenager responsible for the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Damion Blaney on the city's West Side earlier this month. That teenager is awaiting transfer to adult status on murder charges.
Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster said Oakwood Road is not a high crime area, but there have been a few incidents at businesses there. In January, two men walked into Fruth Pharmacy, pulled a gun and demanded OxyContin. The Oakwood Road 7-Eleven also has been robbed.
After the March robbery, regular Fruth Pharmacy customer and Charleston Public Safety Council president Valerie George Ellis contacted the store's owners about security at the store.
"I happened to be in Fruth the day Nice was robbed," Ellis said. She said she talked to Fruth Pharmacy chairwoman Lynne Fruth, who told Ellis she would increase security.
"It was a real positive reaction that I got from her," Ellis said.
In an e-mail, Fruth said owners had installed three security cameras and were ordering more, increased lighting and asked store managers to conduct hourly patrols of the parking lot. Store staff also have been asked to walk customers to their cars if necessary.