10 Tips to Prevent a Pharmacy Robbery

JULY 21, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data indicate pharmacy robberies are on the rise. 
Last year, there were 829 pharmacy robberies nationally—a 16% increase from the 713 reported in 2013. California alone saw a 56% spike in pharmacy robberies between 2013 and 2014, according to the DEA.

Since neither pharmacists nor patients want their pharmacy to be targeted, here are a few tips to prevent a robbery:

Know your audience.

The DEA has found that pharmacy robbers are often white men aged between 20 and 30 years. They may be wearing a hat, sunglasses, or some other form of covering over their face.

In other cases, the robber may be wearing a bizarre outfit. One man robbed a pharmacy with an orange traffic cone in hand while wearing a hardhat, reflective vest, and long, yellow rain jacket. Another man who was on a robbery spree in the San Francisco Bay area had been dressing up as a clown during each incident.

A 2011 Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company (PMIC) pharmacy robbery report advised that the robber might not always be a stranger. The analysis indicated that, in a high percentage of cases, the individual had frequented the pharmacy at least 3 times before the crime.

Oxymorphone, oxycodone, methadone, Percocet, Xanax, and Valium are the most common drugs demanded by pharmacy robbers, according to the DEA.