Pharmacies Fend Off Drug Thieves

Today’s thief may not be the bank robber of yesterday. While there are still plenty of banks getting hit, it’s now drug thieves working the pharmacies that have law enforcement concerned.

In fact, some stores are actually increasing security as would-be robbers are asking for pills.

Pharmacy robberies are part of a national uptick that police say is part of a voracious black market for prescription drugs. The favorites seem to be powerful painkillers, such as oxycodone, or anti-anxiety drugs, such as Xanax. Their street value seems to be more than twice the cost at a pharmacy.

Georgia law enforcement officials say reports of robberies are sporadic, but growing. Night-time break-ins and burglaries have climbed significantly between 2008 and 2009. Last year there were 28 thefts, and likely more than that, because some pharmacy robberies have yet to be added to the database. Robbery of any establishment, such as a pharmacy that has a DEA registration number, is a federal offense. Thieves have tried numerous plans to obtain drugs, including online pharmacies, illicit pain clinics, doctor-shopping and identity fraud, but holding up a drugstore has become part of the chain of misdeeds.

An alert from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office alerts pharmacies to spread out their stock of painkillers to different areas on different shelves. And, it might be a good idea to invest in a good security camera system.

This is a nationwide epidemic, and all pharmacies, in one degree or another, are experiencing similar incidents.

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