Indiana leads nation in pharmacy robberies

28 reported this year, many more may be unreported

INDIANAPOLIS - Metro police said Indiana has had more pharmacy robberies this year than any other state in the country.

Police say most robbery suspects are users who don't see the danger, only the drugs.

"Common sense does not play into this," said Lt. Steven DuBois, with Crime Stoppers. "What they need is the drug, and they're going to do wherever they can to get it. And that's the pharmacy."

In the past month alone, suspects have robbed six central Indiana pharmacies of powerful medications and pain killers, many of which can fetch a price of $20 to $30 per pill.

Metro police say tight regulations by state agencies and the medical community have made pharmacies targets.

"If we had pill mills, or doctors randomly providing these drugs to folks, they would be able to get them easy and wouldn't be resorting to the robberies of pharmacies," said Capt. Robert Holt, with Metro police narcotics.

RxPATROL, the Crime Stoppers unit of the pharmaceutical industry, says holdup suspects have robbed 28 pharmacies statewide this year, but reporting within the industry is voluntary, and RxPATROL said Indiana has experienced a high number of robberies that has surpassed their reporting data.

"I think the industry is changing," said DuBois. "And they're putting in safety measures that are going to help cut robberies, but also will help police after they occur."

Police and the pharmaceutical industry won't say what steps they will take to stop drug store robberies, but the plan is to ensure that no one can obtain these powerful drugs without a prescription.

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