CVS installs new safety measure to deter drug thieves


(WKEF/WRGT)-- After CVS pharmacies around the Miami Valley have been targeted by criminals looking for drugs, the chain is installing new time release safes to lock up opiates and deter robbers.

"OxyContin is usually a dollar a milligram in the street," said Montgomery County sheriff Phil Plummer, "where you can get a gelcap of heroin for five dollars."

Plummer said The heroin epidemic started with prescription opiates, so pharmacies became a target.

Stores have been hit across the Miami valley from Franklin, to Middletown, Dayton, Moraine, Oakwood, and Union.

In Dayton, the CVS at Main Street and Turner Road has been robbed for drugs three times since Easter, according to the sheriffs office.

RELATED: Police: Man robs CVS, demands drugs from pharmacy

"There are creatures of habit. If they have success at one place to keep hitting them," said the sheriff.

The time released safes have been installed at more than 170 CVS stores in Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati metro areas.

"I think it'll help deter because now the robber knows the pharmacist cannot do anything about the time delay safe," Plummer said.

CVS said pharmacists cannot override the time release, and would not show the safes to Fox 45 for safety reasons.

Plummer said it's not necessarily the addicts doing the robberies, but they know the street value and he believes it's an organized ring committing the robberies.

The chain has posted signs so customers and potential crooks know the opiates are under lock and key to keep medicine in the store and off the street.

CVS also said it's employees have to enter a code to open the safe, which automatically triggers the wait time before it's unlocked.

Plummer said some of the people committing the robberies have been caught, but he believes a new group is trying.

RELATED: Safety at the pharmacy: CVS announces painkillers will be in time-delay safes

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