COUNCIL BLUFFS — Bill Shipley gave the thief what he wanted. Then the pharmacy manager gave the man a lot more.
About 1 p.m. Friday, a man entered Union Pharmacy on West Broadway saying he had a gun and demanding oxycodone, a prescription painkiller.
Shipley gave the man a bottle of the drug, then chased him into the Ogden Place parking lot and tackled him, pinning him until police arrived.
“Just another day at the office,” said Shipley, who has thwarted three robbery attempts in his time at Union.
Police arrested Kelton E. Houts, 33, of Carter Lake, who faces first-degree robbery charges, with additional charges pending, Council Bluffs Police Sgt. David Dawson said.
Dawson said Houts has been linked to several pharmacy holdups in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area, including two incidents along Kanesville Boulevard — on Dec. 8 at the CVS pharmacy near downtown and Dec. 14 at the Kmart pharmacy in eastern Council Bluffs.
During Friday’s scuffle, Shipley said, he wrestled a gun away from Houts and punched him several times.
The gun was a pistol that shoots BBs and uses a carbon dioxide cartridge. Shards of plastic from the gun, broken during the fight, were strewn about the parking lot.
A passer-by alerted authorities as Shipley held Houts down.
Council Bluffs Rescue took Houts to Mercy Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Shipley suffered slight injuries to his right hand.
Shipley suffered superficial stab wounds on his abdomen and cheek during a 2002 robbery attempt at Union, though he was able to stop the assailant. In early 2012, he stopped another robbery attempt, suffering a sore right hand after pummeling assailant Donald A. White.
“3-0,” Shipley said while catching his breath after Friday’s incident.
Houts remained in the Pottawattamie County Jail on Friday.