Q: This goes back to 1973. What happened to the two men from Davis – I believe they were UC Davis students – who committed a string of Sacramento-area pharmacy robberies?
A: Johnny William MacMillen, then 26 and a student and the University of California, Davis, pleaded guilty in February 1974 to armed robbery of three Sacramento-area pharmacies.
According to a story in The Sacramento Bee, he was sentenced to state prison, although it did not indicate the length of the sentence.
MacMillen was arrested in November 1973 as a result of a Secret Witness tip and was charged with the robbery of 14 pharmacies and the attempted robbery of others. He pleaded guilty to robbing the South Sacramento Pharmacy at 4720 Franklin Blvd. on Aug. 22, 1973, the Foothill Pharmacy at 5315 Auburn Blvd. five days later, and the American River Pharmacy at 4729 Engle Road on Sept. 5. He told probation officers that he robbed the pharmacies to obtain narcotics and money to buy drugs.
Detectives said the robber typically brandished a .38 caliber revolver, demanded “cash and narcotics”, and handed the victim a brown paper bag to fill.
A second man was arrested and accused of being an accessory, possibly driving a car in some of the robberies, but no accounts were found in The Bee’s archives indicating whether he entered a plea or was tried in the case.