Auburn Police arrest man with gun for demanding drugs

Sheriff’s dispatcher credited with helping thwart attempted robbery
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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A Sacramento man’s suspected attempt to take prescription drugs from an Auburn pharmacy wasn’t quite what the doctor ordered. Michael Francis Brown, 25, who was reportedly carrying a concealed weapon and a demand note for a potent prescription drug, remains in custody after authorities arrested him at a local drug store Wednesday night. Brown was booked into Placer County Jail on an attempted robbery charge after Auburn Police Department officers, with the assistance of the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, apprehended him at the Longs Drugs store in the Auburn Town Center at 388 Elm Avenue. A Placer County Sheriff’s dispatcher reportedly received a call from a manager of the Longs Drugs on 2140 Grass Valley Highway in Auburn reporting a suspicious male. The manager said the man was asking “strange” questions about Oxycontin and then quickly left the store, according to Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin. The dispatcher then immediately notified area law enforcement, including Auburn Police. As a precautionary measure, Auburn Police Detective Sgt. Victor Pecoraro said officers searched the Longs store in their jurisdiction and found Brown in line at the pharmacy counter. When police found Brown they also found a .38-caliber handgun, controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, illegal drugs, a switchblade knife and a demand note indicating he wanted Oxycontin. Pecoraro said Brown was wearing a large jacket and the gun was concealed inside an inner pocket. Authorities also discovered that Brown had staged a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck outside the store as his getaway vehicle. While the vehicle was not registered to Brown, Pecoraro said officials believe it belongs to a friend or family member and was not stolen. Brown was arrested without incident and booked into Placer County Jail. Sheriff Ed Bonner credited the dispatcher for her timely response to the call. “Her quick thinking prevented this subject from possibly carrying out an armed robbery, which could’ve lead to injury or death,” Bonner said Thursday. Brown, who reportedly lives on the 2000 block of Anita Avenue in Sacramento, remains in custody on $100,000 bail. The Journal’s Jenifer Gee can be reached at or post a comment.