Security upgrades deter prescription drug robberies - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Security upgrades deter prescription drug robberies

LAWTON, Okla._In response to a rash of prescription drug robberies, Walgreens has selected Oklahoma as one of 11 states to start using a new way to keep the criminals out.

In most of these crimes, the thieves are after pain medications like oxycodone. Now those pills are kept in a time-delay safe that take takes several minutes to open up, allowing more time for authorities to show up or even discourage the thief who doesn't want to risk waiting.

The store manager on Lee Boulevard couldn't give out too much information on how it works and what it's made out of, but he certainly wanted people to know that it will help in more ways that one.

Walgreens stores across Oklahoma have struggled with preventing theft, ensuring safety for the employees, and helping to keep prescription drugs off the street.

"Drugs, you know they play a lot into violent robberies. For me, watching the news, you'll see a lot of violence when they break in and try to rob the place," said Corey Minden, Walgreens store manager.

Now they've installed a new safe in hopes to take care of all of that. The safe, which can only be activated by a pharmacist, is time delayed. The time delay on the safe mean those trying to get in will have to wait several minutes.

Minden says that most break-ins at the pharmacies have happened over night and been more of a smash and grab. With the new safes, it'll be harder for them to get the highly sought after prescription drugs and easier to get caught.

He also says there hasn't been a robbery at his store since he started working there five years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. If a robber was to come in during store hours demanding drugs, he says he knows it would be a tense situation.

"It's traumatizing. I could understand when somebody comes in the store and that happens. So knowing that these safes are here, that is a big deterrent. It will provide a better understanding and a better safety net," said Minden.

Minden wouldn't say how long the wait is, but these special safes are already being used in the banking and retail industry and can take anywhere between 1 and 99 minutes to open. But don't worry; Minden says they'll have at least enough medication left out so customers won't have to deal with long wait times.

"We're still going to provide the same service that we have always provided for our customers and to our patients," said Minden.

Minden also says that in case of an emergency like that, criminals will be on the security camera longer while they wait for the safe to open.


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