By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Dozens of looters and thousands of dollars worth of drugs stolen. The DEA launches billboards to find those who wreaked havoc on Baltimore pharmacies during the Freddie Gray riots.

Rick Ritter has more on the DEA’s new, week-long campaign.

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The billboards are along I-83 and I-95, including one near Hanover Street. Agents say 30 pharmacies were ransacked and close to 300,000 doses of drugs were stolen. The DEA is desperate to put the thieves behind bars.

One pharmacy after the other—bizarre surveillance video from April 27 shows looters grabbing every drug they can get their hands on. Some communities were left with no medication.

“Everyone came in that day, we really had no drugs to give them,” said the owner of Care One Pharmacy.

Now a desperate attempt to lock up those thieves. Surveillance images of those accused of wiping out 30 pharmacies in Baltimore were blasted on billboards by the DEA.

“We’re trying to identify the people, number one, and number two, we’re trying to get some information of the people who could identify other people,” said Sean Ellerman, DEA.

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Agents say the billboards rotate various surveillance photos every other minute in an effort to identify 40 suspects who hit those pharmacies hard.

“We’re up to almost 288,000 doses of scheduled two to five of narcotics that have been stolen from pharmacies,” Ellerman said.

Police blame the drugs on a surge of recent shootings and killings—something the DEA can’t deny.

“You cannot separate either one,” Ellerman said. “Narcotics lead to violence.”

Hoping the billboards send a strong message to those who think they got away, urging looters to turn themselves in before they’re spotted.

“Don’t think because we haven’t spoken to you now or brought you in now [that you’re safe],” Ellerman said. “It’s not going to happen.”

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Anyone who recognizes any of the surveillance images is urged to call Crime Stoppers immediately.

Rick Ritter