April 1, 2009 in City

Mainstay pulls up its roots

Robberies force pharmacy to merge with Safeway
Meghann M. Cuniff meghannc@spokesman.com
 

A Spokane landmark will close next month after nearly a century in business.

The Altamont Pharmacy will merge its prescription drug operations with Safeway on the South Hill after 99 years at the corner of East 10th Avenue and South Perry Street.

Owner Art Tyrrell, 68, said he’d been thinking of slowing down for a while. He wasn’t searching for an opportunity, but one came along, he said.

“I can’t do this forever,” said Tyrrell, “even though it’s a lot of fun – most of the time.”

Tyrrell’s store has been robbed at gunpoint several times, and he’s seen an increase in prescription-drug-related crime in the 28 years he’s owned the pharmacy, which he said is the oldest in Spokane.

In the past year, the pharmacy has been robbed at least twice during business hours and burglarized overnight about a dozen times – five times in the past three months, Tyrrell said. The last burglary occurred a couple of weeks ago.

Tyrrell said he’s received an anonymous tip as to the burglar’s identity, but no arrests have been made.


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