Police in Lackawanna County are investigating two thefts from pharmacies where the thief was not looking for money but specific prescription drugs.
Both were caught on camera.
Very early Friday morning, security cameras caught a man climbing through a broken window at Medicap Pharmacy in Olyphant.
The burglar used a crowbar to pry open one cabinet. He took only one kind of narcotic pain medication and left. The pharmacy’s owner said since the burglar appeared to be making a specific trip, he may be a regular customer at the store.
“And that’s what really hurts, it just takes the life out of you. Knowing that you’re trying to help people, but they have a problem and they take it out on everybody else,” said owner Eric Pusey.
This is the third time Pusey’s store has had a break-in in the past year. Twice, prescription pain pills were taken.
Now, after this, Medicap is considering tougher security.
“We hate the thought of having to put bars on the windows, that’s not the atmosphere we want for our customers,” Pusey added.
Olyphant police are still investigating the burglary.
“I think they’re becoming more popular because of the economy, either their turning around and selling the medications or they can’t afford their own medications,” said Patrolman John Wilson.
Wilson said for those two reasons, they have been dealing with more and more pharmacy break-ins. They said prescription pills are highly addictive and have a high street value.
Also this past weekend, police in Scranton said a man threatened a clerk with a gun at CVS on Moosic Street in the city. The robber was also looking for prescription pain pills. Investigators think he too was trying to feed an addiction.
Shane Scanlon with the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s office said since police across the county have been cracking down on dealers, people addicted to the pain medications are committing crimes to get the drugs themselves.
“I think because were learning more and more, and our area is really starting to feel the effects of the addiction, we’re seeing it in robberies, burglaries, thefts,” Scanlon said.
Police in Olyphant and Scranton are still looking for the two men who stole from the two pharmacies.