CRIME

Police say 16 pharmacies burglarized, thousands of pills stolen

Sep 19, 2023, 6:24 PM | Updated: 6:27 pm

SANTAQUIN, Utah — Investigators with the Santaquin Police Department said the burglary of the Santaquin Pharmacy and Diabetes Center is believed to be linked with more than a dozen other break-ins across the state, and more in bordering states.

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“They’re hitting so many pharmacies right now,” Kevin Marchant, owner and pharmacist at Santaquin Pharmacy and Diabetes Center.

His business was broken into around 5 a.m. Thursday.

“The glass window out front was shattered and busted and on the ground,” Marchant said. “I have a bit of a temper, I was livid.”

Surveillance videos show the burglar dressed in all black with his mouth covered, wearing gloves and a hoodie, breaking the front window and crawling inside with a white bag.

“He army crawled up through our doors over this way and then across the floor and grabbed one bottle of the promethazine with codeine,” Marchant said.

Video shows the burglar yanking on the door of the locked safe, too.

“That’s where we put all our narcotics,” Marchant said.

He said the burglar walked away with a  bottle worth $37, but he cost the business a lot more.

“To replace my window, it was $1,100, so it was just ridiculous they would cause that much damage for something so cheap,” Marchant said.

It’s not the first time the pharmacy has been broken into.

Video shown here of the same suspect breaking into a pharmacy in Burley, Idaho.  

“A year ago in June, we had the robbery,” Marchant said. “My other pharmacist was here, a guy came here and demanded all the oxycodone. You don’t know what they’re going to do, you don’t know if they’re carrying weapons with them.”

Marchant said the break-ins are frustrating but also frightening.

“Just seeing the pattern that’s happening and the same person showing up in the video surveillance,” Marchant said. “The crazy thing is, the investigator that’s looking in to our situation has told us they’re using different getaway vehicles to drive off in.”

Santaquin police said it’s possible the getaway cars are stolen. They said the same getaway car, a white Toyota 4-runner, seen at the Cache Valley Pharmacy burglary was spotted at a break-in at The Pharmacy on Hiland in Burley, Idaho.

Marchant is in close contact with other pharmacists statewide.

“We depend on each other, we’re always talking,” he said. “I continue to talk with all of my colleagues every day. We have a text message thread.”

He said there’s concern these break-ins will continue, but that they’ll also escalate.

“When you look at all the stuff happening in California where they’re ransacking Walgreens and CVS, and just taking it, they can’t even stop them,” Marchant said. “Things have got to change, people are going to get hurt.”

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Police say 16 pharmacies burglarized, thousands of pills stolen