FLORENCE — A man accused of walking into a pharmacy Tuesday morning with a gun and demanding prescription narcotics was arrested 45 minutes after the robbery, officials said.
John Steven Balentine, 29, 2345 Lauderdale 224, Florence, is charged with first-degree robbery and trafficking illegal drugs, Florence police detective Drew Harless said.
Police said Balentine is accused of robbing Tim’s Discount Pharmacy on Helton Drive. The robbery took place at 10:41 a.m.
“A worker at the pharmacy saw the car he got into and was able to give us a description; we got it out to the surrounding agencies quickly,” Harless said.
Florence police Lt. Mike Holt said Muscle Shoals police spotted the silver Ford Taurus as it was crossing Singing River Bridge.
“They made the stop without incident, and the suspect was taken into custody,” Holt said.
Holt said the arrest was made at 11:25 a.m.
Harless said there was another man in the car when it was stopped, but he was not arrested.
“Apparently, he was not involved, just someone Balentine had picked up,” Harless said.
Reports indicate Balentine picked the man up on Hermitage Drive and was stopped by Muscle Shoals police a short time later.
Balentine is accused of taking several bottles of oxycontin and morphine. Harless said several of the drugs were found in the car.
Harless said no one was injured and the only people in the pharmacy at the time of the robbery were the pharmacist and one employee.
First-degree robbery and trafficking illegal drugs are Class A felonies, punishable by 10 years to life in prison if convicted.
Balentine is being held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail totaling $75,000.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@Times Daily.com.