Pharmacy robberies happen a lot here in Oklahoma. But CVS says they have the technology to decrease those robberies by half.
An armed robbery happened just a few weeks ago at a Tulsa Walgreens. But pharmacy chain, CVS, says now robbers who target any of its nearly 80 locations across Oklahoma won't have as much luck--thanks to the installation of new time-delay safes.
"But when they see that I'll actually think twice about whether I should rob a pharmacy, so this is kind of our initiative and purpose behind it," Shawn Francis, District Leader with CVS Health.
CVS District leader Shawn Francis says the safes are designed to stall when a pharmacist puts in a code. He says they started the program in Indianapolis and had a lot of success.
"Since then we have deployed this technology in 15 states across the nation, we have seen overall a 50% reduction in pharmacy robberies," Francis told News On 6.
All Oklahoma CVS locations, including ones in Target, now have signs warning that time delay safes are in use.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says he is hopeful the safes will decrease opioid abuse.
" The descent into addiction and all the crimes that emanate from that are directly connected to the robberies that occur and pharmacies,” Attorney General Hunter said, “the more people in that stream of commerce that can step up as CVS did to ensure that there's not going to be the version that unscrupulous individuals are going to obtain these drugs and sell them on the street.”
CVS leaders say they have also put safe medication disposal kiosks in all stores nationwide where people can dispose of expired medication.
"With all these services combined, we are excited about the difference we can make," Francis added.
CVS is also launching a Pharmacist Teach Program, where pharmacist go to nearby schools and teach students and parents about prescription drug misuse and abuse.