Pharmacists Report Jarring Armed Robbery Experience


Although only 38% of respondents to a recent Pharmacy Times poll have ever reported an armed robbery at their pharmacies, the experience remains jarring for those who do report the crime.

Although only 38% of respondents to a recent Pharmacy Times poll have ever reported an armed robbery at their pharmacies, the experience remains jarring for those who do report the crime.

“I don’t have cigarettes, I don’t have lotto tickets,” Bart Altrogge told The Star Phoenix in an October 30, 2014, article. “They are after narcotics. That’s it.”

Altrogge reported experiencing either a robbery or a break-in every year over the past decade, which has seriously affected his employees’ mental health. At least 1 of Altrogge’s employees has quit as a result of the incidents.

"Everybody gets very shaken up. Everybody gets extremely agitated anytime anyone comes quickly through the door," Altrogge told the paper.

The problem is an ongoing concern for police in Saskatchewan Province, where Altrogge’s pharmacy is located. Although security systems can deter nighttime break-ins, armed robberies committed during the day present a greater problem: protecting pharmacists without impeding their practice.

But, occasionally, the pharmacist is the culprit, rather than the victim. For instance, a Burnsville, Minnesota, pharmacist pleaded guilty to 1 count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud after allegedly stealing 67,000 doses of narcotics from her workplace.

Anissa Jeanne Shores, 37, stole hydrocodone, oxycodone, carisoprodol, diazepam, and the non-controlled substance tramadol for personal use over a 3-year period by falsifying computer and handwritten inventory logs, CBS Local Minnesota reports. Shores admitted to entering smaller amounts in the inventory logs, and then taking the omitted substances for personal use.

Shores was charged on October 16, 2014, and pleaded guilty on October 28, 2014.

Meanwhile, a high-tech, intricate cheating scam involving more than 2000 Chinese students and their pharmacy licensing exam has shocked the country’s testing authority.

According to PBS News Hour, test proctors detected abnormal radio signals in 7 testing locations and discovered that 2440 of the 25,000 students were receiving coded answers from earpieces.

The perpetrators allegedly entered false pharmacist candidates into the tests, in order to have those candidates memorize test questions. The perpetrators allegedly worked out the answers later, and charged $330 to transmit the answers during the test.

In other news, a convicted sex offender who allegedly robbed Kennebec Pharmacy and Home Care in Rockport, Maine, in September will remain in jail for violating his probation.

According to The Bangor Daily News, Donald R. Keating, Jr, 55, allegedly entered the pharmacy on September 9, 2014, wearing a plastic Hannaford bag on his head and then demanded morphine from the employees, telling them they had 30 seconds to meet his demand.

Keating now has a $25,000 cash bail for robbery, trafficking in drugs, and stealing drugs related to the robbery. He had been sentenced to 15 years with all but 7 years suspended for a 2003 conviction of 11 counts of sexually assaulting a girl, and was on probation for 6 years.

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