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Cottage Grove man jailed, faces charges in connection with school shooting threats

Prison for South St. Paul woman who robbed Woodbury pharmacy

Melanie Parkin

A former South St. Paul teacher will serve just under two years in prison for robbing a Woodbury pharmacy earlier this year.

A Washington County Court on Dec. 11 sentenced Melanie Sue Parkin, 37, to 21 months in prison on a felony charge of first-degree attempted aggravated robbery.

Woodbury police arrested Parkin in the early hours of Feb. 13 after staff at the Woodbury pharmacy reported an armed robbery.

According to a Washington County criminal complaint, Parkin wore a puffy coat and baseball hat to the Donegal Drive pharmacy, where she brandished a gun and asked staff for Percocet.

Perkin left the store with multiple bottles of the prescription drug.

Police later pulled over her SUV for expired tabs and she admitted to using an airsoft gun to rob the pharmacy.

Officers searched her car and counted 1,413 Percocet pills inside a Walgreens bag.

Parkin later told police she attempted to rob a Cottage Grove pharmacy the previous month and succeeded in robbing one in West St. Paul.

Percocet, a schedule II controlled substance, is a narcotic used to treat pain.

Parkin told police she'd been prescribed both Percocet and OxyContin, another schedule II narcotic, to treat lingering pain from breaking her spine four years ago.

During that time, Parkin said she became addicted and suffered from withdrawals if she stopped taking the medication.

She said she recently ran out of refills and no longer had a valid prescription.

Parkin pleaded guilty to the attempted aggravated robbery charge in October. Chemical dependency evaluation and treatment were among the interim conditions of her plea.