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Burglar grabs $8,645 in drugs

8-minute heist could net $118,000 on the street

Staff writer

A burglar crashed through a door and made off with more than 6,300 opioid and stimulant pills in a brazen burglary just before 7 p.m. Saturday at Hillsboro Hometown Pharmacy.

The burglar needed only eight minutes to make off with $8,645 in drugs from the pharmacy at 507 N. Ash St. on a heavily traveled street directly across from the police department.

Hillsboro Police Chief Jessey Hiebert said the fact that Ash St. is heavily traveled probably hastened police being notified of the burglary. A passer-by called in to say the pharmacy door had been broken.

Hiebert said the burglar was dressed entirely in black except for white sneakers, and had a black hood over his head and black gloves on his hands.

For reasons not yet known, the store’s alarm failed to activate when the burglar broke the glass door to enter the building.

Pharmacist Eric Driggers said he didn’t know why the alarm system did not trigger.

“We upgraded some security equipment since it happened,” he said.

Surveillance video shows the burglar took only minutes to make off with the drugs.

“It shows when they went in at 6:53 p.m. and came out at 7:01 p.m.,” Hiebert said.

Officer Randy Brazil continues to investigate the case. Brazil was not available for comment Tuesday.

Hiebert said police were reviewing video from nearby businesses to track the vehicle.

“That is in the making,” Hiebert said.

The burglar took oxycodone, adderall, dextroamphetamine, hydrocodone, oxycontin, carisoprodol, and promethazine codeine solution.

Oxycodone and oxycontin are opioid narcotics used to control severe and persistent pain.

Adderall, a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, is a stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Hydrocodone is a synthetic opioid used to treat people with around-the-clock pain for extended periods.

Carisoprodol is a pain tablet that works by relaxing muscles.

Promethazine codeine solution is an opioid-containing cough syrup used to treat cold or allergy symptoms.

The pills alone taken by the burglar had a retail value of $8,645 but could be sold on the street for more than $118,000.

Store video identified the burglar’s vehicle as a black Chevrolet Traverse.

Damage to the pharmacy’s door was estimated at $2,000.

Hiebert said he suspected the burglar was an out-of-towner who spotted the pharmacy from the street. He does not think the store’s alarm system was intentionally disabled.

“I’m thinking they walked in and looked around,” Hiebert said.

He said the theft probably was related to opioid abuse.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse said Kansas had 345 deaths from drug overdoses in 2018. Opioid overdoses made up 156 of those deaths.

“We have the opiate abuse thing going on,” Hiebert said.

According to Alexandra Blasi, executive secretary of the Kansas Board of Pharmacy, pharmacies are required to have a locking door within the store in the area where drugs are kept and also must have locked containers for some of the drugs stolen from the Hillsboro pharmacy.

“There are some of those that are required to be locked up and secured,” she said.

She said when a pharmacy lost inventory, such as by theft, the incident must be reported to both the board of pharmacy and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Both agencies investigate, and the board of pharmacy cooperates with local law enforcement.

Diggers said he was reviewing security video from before the burglary to see whether anyone seemed suspicious before the burglary.

Doors and storage cabinets in the pharmacy were in compliance with regulations, and the pharmacy reported the theft to the pharmacy board and DEA, Driggers said.

Last modified Dec. 16, 2021

 

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