for immediate release
June 26, 2002

N E W S   R E L E A S E

A pharmacy robbery suspect is in custody, thanks to quick work by the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office and the tracking skills of a trained dog.

K-9 "Valko" tracked Matthew James Hebert, age 28 (9-24-73), of New Iberia, Louisiana, to a hiding place approximately 37 minutes after the robbery of the pharmacy at the Target Store, 250 E. Miracle Strip Pkwy., Mary Esther. Hebert was arrested on charges of Robbery, Grand Theft, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Resisting Without Violence, and Retail Theft.

The pharmacist told deputies a man who held his hand inside a black bag approached as she prepared to open her section for business just prior to 9:00 o'clock this morning (Wednesday morning). The man stated he was "dying" and needed Oxycontin, a commonly abused prescription pain killer.

Deputy Ron Kimble and K-9 "Valko" tracked the robber's escape route from near the garden center of Target into a nearby wooded area just west of the store, then south across Highway 98 into the Jesse Rogers Cemetery. Hebert was taken into custody along the shore of Santa Rosa Sound behind the cemetery. Hebert admitted taking the drug, plus a bottle of water and a package of cotton balls with the intent of taking the Oxycontin intravenously.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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