The Dakota County attorney’s office has charged a South St. Paul teacher with aggravated robbery in connection with two alleged armed robberies of a West St. Paul drugstore.
Melanie Sue Parkin, 36, was charged Friday with two counts of aggravated robbery in the first degree for allegedly robbing a Walgreens store in December and January. She also was charged in Washington County for a similar robbery in Woodbury.
Parkin, a special education teacher in the South St. Paul schools, displayed a black handgun and demanded oxycodone pain medication, the Dakota County attorney’s office said in a news release.
“This appears to be another crime of violence associated with a chemical addiction in our community,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said.
Just after 5 a.m. on Dec. 12 police responded to a robbery at a Walgreens store in West St. Paul. Parkin left on foot after robbing the pharmacy, and authorities were unable to locate her.
The pharmacist told authorities that Parkin “pointed the gun and stated she needed oxycodone for her sick father and she has no other way to get it,” according to the complaint.
The pharmacist then put a few bottles of oxycodone and another pill bottle with a tracking device into a bag. Authorities attempted to track the dummy pill bottle, but the GPS didn’t work, the criminal complaint said.
On Jan. 14, just after 3 a.m. Parkin allegedly approached the service window of the West St. Paul Walgreens with a black semiautomatic handgun and demanded “oxy.” She told the pharmacist not to put a tracking device in her bag. She left and again authorities could not locate her.
On Monday, a Woodbury investigator informed a West St. Paul officer that they had arrested a suspect at a Walgreens in their town matching Parkin’s description. She then identified herself in surveillance video from the December robbery.
“She stated she got ‘oxys’ and a tracker and she threw the tracker away,” according to the criminal complaint. She told authorities she consumed all the pulls and got the gun from one of her children.
The Washington County attorney’s office has filed charges against Parkin in the Woodbury robbery.
Dakota County District Court Judge Michael Baxter set bail at $75,000 on Friday. Her next court appearance there is set for March 16.