BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City leaders are connecting the spike in violence to the theft of thousands of dollars worth of prescription drugs from local pharmacies during the April 27th riots.
Derek Valcourt spoke with frustrated pharmacy owners who say police aren’t doing enough to help.
The CVS — just one of the many stores – looted that day.
Some worry the drugs that were taken may now be fueling violent territory disputes.
Meanwhile, pharmacy owners WJZ talks to say police aren’t doing enough to investigate who stole those drugs to begin with.
Inside the Care One Pharmacy on Reisterstown Road surveillance cameras are watching all as they were on April 27th — when looters entered the locally-owned pharmacy and began wreaking havoc.
Manager Ora Powers showed WJZ security video that details minute by minute what happened inside the pharmacy.
The thieves — many with their faces covered stole thousands of pills and can be seen trying to break open the buildings safe with a crow bar.
When that didn’t work, they carried an ATM machines right out of the lobby.
“It’s frightening,” Powers said.
Some of the first damage inside this pharmacy happened between 3 and 4 in the afternoon, looters were in this building almost all night long taking whatever they could get their hands on.
By 1 a.m., most shelves were stripped bare — and they weren’t alone.
Looters caused damage to more than two dozen local pharmacies, including the now closed CVS store, the Keystone Pharmacy on North Avenue and another Care One store on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Derek: “Did the police come right away?”
Powers: “No, they actually never came.”
Care One’s owners tell WJZ despite reporting the burglary in progress, a police detective didn’t come until a few days ago — more than a month after that break-in.
They say detectives still don’t have a copy of security video.
Meanwhile employees are still putting the place back together.
“Pretty much trying to recover from this. We’re still a little off as you can see we haven’t replaces some things yet. It’s costly,” Powers said.
In a statement, police say they are committed to investigating each and every one of these pharmacy crimes — and say their investigations into pharmacy thefts have already resulted in 8 arrests and 8 outstanding warrants.
The DEA is also involved in some of the investigations.
Anyone with information on these crimes is urged to call Baltimore police.