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Reward in OxyContin robberies up to $2,000

The reward for information that helps capture a suspected two-time pharmacy robbery is now up to $2,000.

The company that makes OxyContin is offering the money through Crime Stoppers in hopes of finding the man police suspect robbed two pharmacies of the powerful painkiller in two weeks.

The robberies occurred Aug. 24 at the Shopko at 4515 S. Regal St., and Sept. 5 at the Rite Aid across the street, 4514 S. Regal St.

In each case, a white man who appeared to be wearing a wig handed an employee a note demanding OxyContin, then fled with the drug.

Rite Aid surveillance photos released today show the robber in a white shirt, blue jeans and a white beanie-style hat over a dark wig. Witnesses said he was 6-foot-2 and had fake facial hair.

Shopko surveillance photos show the robber wore sunglasses, a black T-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and a dark baseball hat with a white logo. Witnesses said he was about 6-foot-3.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS, or submit tips online at Tipsters do not have to leave a name but should provide a code name or number.

Based in Stamford, Conn., Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin to the prescription drug market in 1996 and has been fined for lying about its addictiveness.

In 2003, the company created a program, RxPatrol, to help police and pharmacies track prescription drug robberies.