Three Prescription Drugs Behind Spike In Tulsa Pharmacy Robberies

Wednesday, September 22nd 2010, 7:43 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- So far in 2010, Tulsa Police say there have been twice as many armed robberies at pharmacies compared to 2009.

This year, the city of Tulsa has seen 31 robberies and police say it is all due to supply and demand.

Tulsa Police say there are three drugs that are commonly taken from pharmacies. They are Codeine, Oxycontin and Xanax.

The robberies are not concentrated in just one area of the city, but they are occurring all over.

Earlier in September, four men robbed the Walgreens Pharmacy at Pine and Sheridan.

The robbers got in before the store opened and tied up the cleaning crew, and then forced the manager to open cash registers.

9/2/2010 Related story: Thieves Tie Up Cleaning Crew While Robbing Tulsa Drug Store

Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker says there is no typical time for robberies to happen. So he's asking that customers and employees be on alert.

He also says investigators want to meet with pharmacists and employees to come up with a plan to help keep everyone safe and still catch the crooks.

"And that's what we're trying to do is get to them. Last year when we had the financial institutions being hit at a rapid pace we got everybody together and said this is what you guys can do, this is the way it's happening," said Sgt. Dave Walker, Tulsa Police Department.

He says nearly half of the robbery cases have been closed or solved but police are still looking for suspects for the other half of the robberies.

Another robbery back in August, where a man dressed in tan clothes and a safari hat, robbed the Med X pharmacy at 61st and Yale.

Police say he stole prescription drugs.

8/10/2010 Related story: Caught On Tape: Tulsa Robber Steals Drugs From Med-X Pharmacy

Sgt. Dave Walker says if you find yourself at a drug store while a robbery is in progress, be careful.

"If you're not involved don't get involved. Really the addict, the robbers want one thing and it's not you. So if you can just kind of blend into the woodwork and be a good witness, observe what they're wearing, identifying marks, tattoos," said Sgt. Dave Walker.

He says if you can get out of the pharmacy without being seen, leave. Then call police.

Walker also says it's helpful if you can return to the pharmacy once Tulsa Police arrive on scene and give officers a description of the suspects.