Cameras capture burglars raiding the only Planada pharmacy for cough syrup

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A North Valley pharmacy is stepping up security after burglars broke in twice in one week. (KFSN)

A North Valley pharmacy is stepping up security after burglars broke in twice in one week. The owners believe the suspects were after cough syrup.

There's only one drugstore in the small town of Planada. It's a homegrown pharmacy that's now fighting off criminals trying to get their fix.

"It's kind of the trendy hot drug if you will, pharmacies are getting targeted a lot," owner Katie Bass said. "It's rare to run into someone who hasn't been robbed."

Bass and her family own San Joaquin Drug - a community staple known for friendly service and tight security. It was their surveillance system that caught several masked bandits trying to break in.

"It's just kind of heartbreaking," she said. "It's kind of overwhelming, and it does feel like a violation of your privacy."

In the video, you can see the suspects crawl through the window, rummage through shelves, and they even try to make off with the safe. Bass says the pharmacy was hit twice in February. And the coveted item both times was a $6 bottle prescription cough medicine.

"We think they were after promethazine syrup," Bass explained. "Just the way they were looking around, it's a popular party kind of drug to get drunk on."

The suspects made off with little, but the damage to the broken windows is costing thousands of dollars. Hill is a second generation pharmacist and says crime is a part of the job her parents really experienced.

"Since I've been working here, it seems like something like I'm constantly having to deal with and it's not something they teach in schools," she said. "It's not something you're really prepared for."

Hill hopes someone will recognize the suspects and wants them to know she is hiring security and getting metal door closures. But, most of all, that abusing medication hurts the suspects more than just the pharmacy.

Related Topics:
merced countysurveillance cameraprescription drugsburglaryPlanada
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