Pharmacy burglaries on the rise, more drugs on the streets

Pharmacy burglaries on the rise, more drugs on the streets

TYLER (KYTX) - Police are still searching for four suspects who burglarized the Good' Pharmacy on grande in Tyler Tuesday. Investigators believe the thieves are connected to two other pharmacy burglaries on May 25 and that they are in search of some specific drugs.

Vicodin, Xanax, and Oxycontin are the popular ones that these thieves are dying to get their hands on. The urge to steal these has resulted in way more pharmacy burglaries. The problem is the demand. These pills sell on the streets for $3 to $10 a pill.  

This week's burglary at Good's Medicine Chest left pharmacy manager Julie Rothrock with lots of emotions.
"Shock and disappointment," she says. "Unfortunately it's common. It's a part of pharmacy."
It's sadly a part of the business she's getting more and more used to.
"Pharmacy as a whole has experienced an increase in the number of break ins in the last few years with the increase of controlled use of controlled substances," she says.

The popular targets, xanax, hydrocodone, oxycontin, are in high demand on the streets. When they're stolen from pharmacy shelves, the people who need them are put at risk.

"Those who need the medication, that are under a doctors care, and have a valid need for daily living," Rothrock says.
There's a process of getting those drugs back on the shelves.  
"You have to purchase the inventory back in, you have to report the information to the DPS, DEA to ensure those medications are accounted for, what is out on the street now illegally," Rothrock explains.

The Texas State Board of Pharmacy guidelines allow each individual pharmacy to decide which specific medications are locked away overnight.  Rothrock does not want to alert criminals to which medications she keeps locked up and where,  but she says crimes like this, make her take an even closer look at her security system.  

The increase of burglary of these drugs means there are more on the streets, more abuse, and more people winding up in emergency rooms. If you overdose on a drug like Oxycontin, or Hydrocodone, you can die, and many people do.  

The pharmacies that were broken into in the past two weeks are still taking inventory, so we don't know for sure what the criminals took. However, investigators and pharmacists have told us it appears they were targeting pills like Hydrocodone and Xanax, and possibly cough syrups.  

If you have any information about any of the pharmacy burglaries in the past two weeks please call Tyler Police.  Police also ask that if you're out late at night and see something suspicious around a business, people standing around, people jumping into a car that speeds off, call them immediately.  


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