The former deputy, George William Smith, 43, used a gun and demanded the potent narcotic Oxycodone at both pharmacies, police said. He left the first store Monday when the pharmacist wouldn't give him any pills. But he made off with hundreds of tablets from another pharmacy the next day, authorities said.
Assistant District Attorney Dorie Biagianti-Smith called authorities and confronted her husband after recognizing him on a television news broadcast that aired surveillance video of the Monday robbery, District Attorney Angela "Spence" Pacheco said.
Smith fled the couple's home and remained a fugitive Thursday night, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported ( http://bit.ly/UVuLlv).
"This goes against everything she stands for," Angela Pacheco said of her colleague.
"She is devastated, very upset and distraught," Pacheco told the Albuquerque Journal. "But she had the courage to do what she needed to do."
Smith worked for the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina for 15 years and quit in 2009, sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Cuthbertson said Friday. Georgetown is south of Myrtle Beach.
He briefly worked for the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office in New Mexico in early 2011 before Sheriff Tommy Rodella asked him to resign, department spokesman Jake Arnold said.
"The sheriff told him he didn't think he was a good fit," Arnold told the Journal. He said he couldn't elaborate because Smith's departure was a personnel matter.
In Monday's robbery attempt, a man police identified as Smith pointed a gun at a pharmacist and demanded Oxycodone. He ran out of the store when the pharmacist refused to give him the pills. On Tuesday, Smith went into a pharmacy in suburban Santa Fe and again pointed a gun at the clerk, authorities said. The clerk pointed in the direction of the pills and ran away. Authorities allege Smith then made off with about 500 pills.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com