Rocky Mount police are investigating the Monday morning theft of a large quantity of prescription drugs from a local pharmacy.
Authorities said someone triggered multiple alarms just before 4 a.m. at Northside Family Pharmacy at 3920 Bishop Road. According to police reports, when police arrived, the suspects had already fled with the tablets, which included medicines for pain, high blood pressure and diabetes.
“There has been an increasing problem nationwide over the years with armed robberies and forcible break-ins at pharmacies because of the high selling price of those narcotics on the street,” Rocky Mount police Cpl. Mike Lewis said.
Dr. Angela Stokes, pharmacist at Northside, said she was stunned when she was notified of the incident.
“This theft was not about controlled drugs or narcotics, they were only a few of all the medications taken,” she said.
Lewis said the increase in abuse of prescription drugs has led to a rise in such thefts.
“This incident is so disappointing. This is a national problem that has come to our community,” Stokes said. “The problem lies in the demand on the streets for prescription medications, not just pain medications.
“There is a turn in our homes and our schools to selling legal prescription medications for illegal purposes,” Stokes said. “We need to educate ourselves. We need to conceal our prescription medications in our homes and not let anyone know what medications we are on. The dispensing of medications is at an all-time high.”
The incident highlights the importance of knowing where your medications come from. She said some patients seek illegal avenues for their prescriptions to save money.
Lewis said it is unclear what impact the theft will have locally because investigators do not know if the drugs will be sold here or taken to another state.
Anyone who saw something or someone suspicious near the pharmacy early Monday is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 977-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.