ALTON, Ill. – A warning from police Tuesday after thousands of dollars’ worth of opioids were stolen from two Alton pharmacies. Police said they’re working to track down the suspects before they target another store.
“Any community with a 24-hour pharmacy is a potential target,” said Lt. Gary Cranmer, Alton Police Department.
Suspects robbed two pharmacies located across the street from one another on Washington Avenue within a three-day period.
“So I’m asking to please help identify the suspect so that swift resolutions can be made to protect and not only for the citizens of Alton, but all the citizens of our neighboring communities,” Cranmer said.
The first robbery was at the CVS around 1 a.m. on Sunday. The second was at the Walgreens around 3 a.m. Tuesday, during which a clerk was seriously injured.
Police believe these two cases may be connected. They described the suspects as tall, slender, and clean shaven. One has a tattoo of webbing on his hand and fingers.
Lt. Cranmer estimates the thieves made off with more than $30,000 dollars’ worth of opioids during one of the heists.
“Hydrocodone, Percocet, OxyContin, oxycodone, all prescription pain medication which—by and large—we all know this is a tremendous problem in every community across the nation with the opioid crisis that’s going on,” he said.
Centerstone Clinical Coordinator Stacy Seitz said she sees the impact firsthand. She said opioid addiction is a growing problem, especially in the Metro East, but added there is help for people who are ready to get treatment.
“Opioids are different than other addictions, just as far as you can’t dabble in it. It’s once you start using it (you’re) are usually addicted. A lot of people that we work with originally started in pain medications and became addicted to that and then moved to heroin and Fentanyl,” she said.
A police spokesperson said investigators were working to obtain parking lot surveillance videos so they can get a vehicle description. In the meantime, they're reaching out to other departments to see if they've had any similar robberies.
Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to contact the Alton Police Department at 618-463-3505.