Durham sees an increase in pharmacy thefts, with police moving forward with prevention tips

Police are visiting pharmacies in Durham this weekend to provide theft prevention advice after seeing a recent spike in thefts from pharmacies in the community.

Between January 25 and March 25, Durham Police publicly reported six pharmacy thefts in Durham.

This includes three robberies which took place within minutes of each other on February 16.

That evening, three men jumped from a counter at the Devon Pharmacy on Wilson Road North in Oshawa and stole narcotics. Minutes later, the three suspects hit the Whitby walk-in medical clinic on Brock Street and then the IDA Guardian Pharmacy on Church Street North in Ajax, where an employee was assaulted and suffered injuries to the head and face.

In October, four knife-wielding suspects jumped from the counter of the Eastview IDA pharmacy in Oshawa and demanded drugs – two employees were slightly injured.

In the event of theft, Durham Police are advising pharmacy staff to remain calm, call 911, lock the doors and do not touch anything.

Here are some tips to help pharmacies deter theft: ensure store layout eliminates blind spots and hidden areas; install CCTV cameras and signs telling people that the store is under video surveillance; create clear sight lines in aisles and ensure panels cover no more than 30% of windows so employees can see out.

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