STOLEN PILLS: Pharmacy Smash And Grab

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A break-in at a Des Moines pharmacy Sunday wasn't your typical smash and grab.  A burglar got away with prescription painkillers and other drugs from Richards Pharmacy on Hickman Road.

“Get a call Sunday morning just before 6 o'clock.  Look down at your cell phone, it says ADT the alarm company.  You know what it is,” says pharmacist Mark Richards.

Richards has seen his share of burglaries over the years, but he didn't expect this.  The thief, after prescription painkillers, busted through a steel reinforced back door.

“They've just driven or backed a vehicle into the door and buckled the whole door out plus taken part of the wall out,” says Richards.

The suspect was in and out of the pharmacy in about two minutes.

“They got a lot more things that have no street value whatsoever than they did get in street value, but they still add up to a lot of dollars,” he says.

“It's really become a big issue for our office and the state to try to combat,” says Steve Lukan, Director of the Governor`s Office of Drug Control Policy.

In addition to education, a prescription drug task force is working to prevent the problem.

“One thing we see is more and more groups of people moving between the states trying to used forged prescriptions at pharmacies, trying to obtain prescriptions illegally.  Break ins are becoming more of a concern, more of an issue,” says Lukan.

“I'm a community business, you gotta be open to the public.  I can't turn it into Fort Knox but sometimes that's what you feel you need to do,” says Richards.


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