Pharmacy robberies have climbed all across the country, and in Long Island alone, two such robberies resulted in six deaths. The drugs of choice are narcotic pain killers, like oxycodone. They are highly addictive, and some addicts are willing to do just about anything to keep their supply coming.
Local pharmacies have taken to bolstering their security measures in light of the growing robberies. Installing panic buttons, cameras, and bullet proof glass are just some of the ways that pharmacists are fighting back and hoping to deter would-be robbers.
Some have even stopped carrying the pain killers that robbers would go after, opting to turn away some people with legitimate needs and pain management issues rather than run the risk of attracting armed criminals.
On June 19th, a clerk, pharmacist, and two customers were killed as a man stole thousands of pain pills from Haven Drugs in Medford. On New Year’s Eve, a federal agent who was picking up his father’s medication was killed when he tried to stop a robbery in progress. The robber, a retired police lieutenant who had recently been released from prison, was also killed.
Last year, on Long Island, there were at least a dozen of these robberies. In New York State, between 2006 and 2010, the number of pharmacy robberies jumped from 4 to 30. Nationally, we saw a jump of 79% during that same time period.
The growth in these robberies is directly related to the growing prescription drug addiction problem in this country. Prescription pain killers, like oxycodone, are highly addictive and have become the drug of choice for many. But when the doctor stops refilling your prescription or when your supplier dries up, where do you turn?
Many pain clinics, or pill mills, sprouted up across the country as a way to unethically issue prescriptions to addicts. They were simply getting their piece of the pie, making money off of the addiction. But lawmakers are cracking down on these clinics, which are more populous in southern states like Florida and Georgia.
Those people robbing pharmacies are likely addicted to the pills themselves, though they could also be dealers looking to replenish their supply. These pills can bring a hefty price on the street.
Pharmacists are being more vigilant, wiping counters throughout the day in hopes of collecting prints if a robbery does go down, installing better cameras and alarm systems, and simply being more alert to their clientele.
When you have an addiction, you can sometimes be motivated to commit offenses you wouldn’t otherwise. Sometimes, if caught, this presents a chance for you to get help. If you are charged with a criminal offense, whether its drug related or not, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss the details of your case and what can be done.