Point Loma Cabrillo Drug, on the corner of Catalina Boulevard and Talbot street, was robbed at gunpoint twice in the month of January. According to ABC 10 News, on Friday, Jan. 12, a man came into the store wearing fake sideburns and a surgical mask over his face. Then, on Friday, Jan. 26, a man, wearing a bandana over his face, also entered the store. On both occasions, the man pulled out a gun and demanded drugs.
The San Diego Police Department, according to ABC 10 News, says that they “are investigating if [the] two different robberies at Point Loma Cabrillo Drug Store were committed by the same person.” Point staff reached out to the SDPD, but they refused to comment.
On January 26, the day of the second robbery, PLNU students, staff and faculty received a text through the emergency alert system, reading, “SDPD searching for armed suspect last seen at Talbot and Catalina. Wht male, 40 y.o., blk jacket, wht shirt, blu jeans. Use caution. Will update.” About two hours later, an all-clear text was sent, however the suspect was still not found.
Kaz Trypuc, a Point Loma public safety supervisor, says that on the day of the second robbery, a SDPD officer approached the campus and told the public safety officer at the welcome center of the situation at Cabrillo Drug store.
“At that point in time, no one had said that he was coming toward campus, or had intent to come toward campus, but given that it was an active search underway, and that the suspect was armed, we decided that the best thing to do was to at least notify the campus,” Trypuc said.
America’s opioid crisis has been growing, and lawmakers are paying more and more attention to the epidemic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, 11.5 million people misused opioids in 2016 alone, with 116 people overdosing every single day. In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.
As for Point Loma Cabrillo Drug, there’s no way to know the exact reasoning behind the robbery, however the store has taken actions to halt any future incidents. A sign on their doors ask their customers to fill prescriptions in advance, as they will no longer have certain pharmaceutical drugs on site.
Trypuc has suggestions for students as to how to stay safe on and off campus, especially during times of possible emergency. He says that the first step is to add your cell phone number to the Point Loma portal, which allows public safety to text you with updates when necessary. Trypuc also says that there will be an active shooter lockdown drill on Mar. 21, which is intended to help students learn the best responses to emergency situations.