A locally owned pharmacy is fearing for its employees and making some policy changes to keep criminals from interrupting business.
Rosy's Pharmacy on the corner of 12th Street and Northern Avenue was targeted by an armed thief demanding Oxycontin. A security camera caught the exchange on video, showing a man wearing a surgical mask jump the counter and run off with the drugs.
The next day, another incident occurred when a different man came into the pharmacy demanding the same prescription drugs. Before pharmacists could give in to his demands, the thief caught an apparent case of heartburn and ran off with some over-the-counter Prilosec instead.
Since then, owner Rosy Vallin has implemented a new strategy to keep the criminals out of her pharmacy.
"It's sad to be scared of coming into your own business," Vallin said.
Vallin hired a security guard, installed new cameras and even a door that is always locked. Customers now have to alert the cashier before entering the pharmacy.
"For our safety and the safety of our customers, we have to do it that way," Vallin said.
Other local pharmacies say these robberies affect their business.
"It's definitely a burden to have the extra expense to spend on security," said Teresa Stickler, the owner of Melrose Pharmacy in central Phoenix. Her business was robbed in March.
"When you have a regular chain pharmacy, they'll have more money in investment that they can spend. But as an independent pharmacy, we're already not making enough money," she continued.
Rosy's Pharmacy no longer carries Oxycontin, fearing that's what the criminals were after. Vallin says her customers with valid reasons for the prescription painkillers will have to buy the drug elsewhere, but she hopes the new measures will keep herself, her employees and customers safe.
"We are here to help our customers, to help the people who have legitimate reasons to be taking these medications," Vallin said. "[The robberies] need to stop."
If you have any information on the suspects caught on camera [seen above], contact Silent Witness. Police are looking for more leads and evidence to link these crooks to their crimes.
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