Pharmacy owners on high alert after burglaries

Pharmacy owners on high alert after burglaries

(WAFB) - Pharmacies appear to be a popular target for burglars as local law enforcement investigate a rash of recent crimes.

Authorities said $55,000 worth of prescription medicine was taken in one night from Chris's Pharmacy in Maurepas. The store was robbed three weeks ago.

Owner Chris Williams said the thieves cut the power on the evening of Saturday, March 19. They waited a day for the back-up generators to drain, and then busted in through the front door late Sunday evening.

They took all the drugs, even breaking open a large medicine cabinet.

"It's pretty frustrating," Williams said. "You know, you do what you can and every time you did added measures, but it seems like something's always they're smarter than us or ahead of us, they figured out a way to get in here."

The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Department is investigating the burglary. They currently have no known suspects.

Meanwhile, deputies in Ascension Parish are looking for two masked thieves that broke into Ralph's Pharmacy early Monday morning.

The suspects broke in through the front door by throwing a piece of cement through the glass. They only took a few items and were out within a minute.

There was a separate burglary attempt at Ralph's three weeks ago. The suspects were only in for about a minute and didn't take anything.

Deputies said another Ascension pharmacy was also burglarized within the last month, but they would not say which one.

Meanwhile, Ralph's owner Chris Dupre said that since the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) implemented tighter restrictions on the availability of prescription drugs about a year and a half ago, the street value of the drugs has gone up. That means the dealers want more to sell which leads to more burglaries.

"I believe these to be people who probably aren't taking the medication themselves. They seem to pretty much be professionals. They come in, get it, and make money selling it on the streets."

Both Williams and Dupre said they will try to improve their security systems.

Investigators do not know if these burglaries are related.

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