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    Maine adds deputies to combat pharmacy robberies

    In an effort to curb pharmacy robberies in Maine, U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty recently deputized 18 state, county, and local law enforcement officials to assist with related investigations throughout that state.

    Pharmacy robberies more than doubled in Maine in 2012, from 24 in 2011 to 58 last year, according to statistics released by Delahanty’s office.

    “We are very fortunate that there have been no serious injuries reported in any of the cases even though there have been multiple incidents where guns and dangerous weapons have been used or displayed." Delahanty said.

    There have been 6 pharmacy robberies thus far this year. “This is a drastic reduction from 24 at this time last year, but with a substantial risk of injury, it is still too many,” Delahanty said. “We cannot provide an authenticated reason for this decline, but it is encouraging, except for the fact that it may be due to an increased supply and the greater availability of heroin and prescription drugs on the street."

    The 18 officers are from 13 state, county, and municipal departments. All have received special training. "We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the chiefs, sheriffs, and supervisors of these officers who have consented to participate in this effort. It is important to note, that there have been multiple pharmacy robberies or burglaries in almost all of the municipalities and counties from which each of these officers come," Delahanty said.

    As part of the anti-robbery strategy, stickers and signs will be displayed in pharmacies throughout the state warning would-be robbers and thieves that such crimes will be investigated and prosecuted by local, county, state, and federal law enforcement officials.

    To get weekly news from the voice of the pharmacist, subscribe to the Drug Topics Community Pharmacists' Report or the Drug Topics Hospital Pharmacists' Report.

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.

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