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Former Minn. teacher sent to prison for robbing pharmacies at gunpoint

Melanie Sue Parkin

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A former special-education teacher for South St. Paul schools was sentenced Tuesday, Feb. 6,  in Dakota County District Court to three years in prison for twice robbing a West St. Paul pharmacy at gunpoint for prescription pain pills.

Melanie Sue Parkin, 37, of South St. Paul, pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree aggravated robbery in August in connection with sticking up a Walgreens drugstore on Dec. 12, 2016, and Jan. 14, 2017.

In both robberies, Parkin entered the Walgreens wearing sunglasses, a dark hat and a dark, puffy jacket, and pointed a black handgun at a pharmacist and demanded Oxycodone pain medication, according to charges. The gun was later determined to be an Airsoft pellet gun.

At the time, Parkin was still teaching for South St. Paul schools. She previously was a special-education teacher at Spring Lake Park High School for 11 years.

Late last year, Parkin was sentenced to 21 months in prison in connection with two similar crimes at pharmacies in Washington County. She is serving the sentence at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee.