The Edmond Sun

July 6, 2010

Police: Edmond pharmacist gets sweet justice

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — A burglar who hit an Edmond pharmacy must have been surprised when he or she found M&Ms instead of drugs inside the pilfered pill bottles, police said.

At about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, police responded to an alarm at Clinic Pharmacy, 120 N. Bryant Ave., according to a report filed by Edmond Police Officer Joshua Pratt. Due to prior burglaries at the location, there was a good probability that it was a legitimate alarm, so several additional officers responded as well, police said.

Police arrived on scene, cleared the building and looked for suspect vehicles leaving the area. The front glass doors had been broken and the pharmacy appeared to have been burglarized, police said.

Pratt and the pharmacist entered the pharmacy through a back door and did a cursory check to see what was taken. The pharmacist told police it appeared the only items taken were four hydrocodone bottles. Hydrocodone is one of the most abused drugs in the state, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

Due to previous burglaries, all four bottles were filled only with M&M candy, police said. The two panes of glass were valued at $300, and the pill bottles and contents were valued at $2. No suspects were located and no witnesses were identified at the time the report was filed, police said.

Glynda Chu, spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department, said hopefully the practice will reduce the number of burglaries at the pharmacy and at others in the Edmond area.

“It was very creative on the part of the pharmacist,” Chu said. “He had enough, and when he decided to fill his medicine bottles left out overnight with candy it made for a true case of sweet justice.”

Phillip Woodward, executive director of the Oklahoma Pharmacists Association, said he has heard of several other similar incidents in the state in which pills were replaced with salt tablets or other items.

Woodward said he is not surprised to hear about the incident in Edmond because Oklahoma pharmacists are becoming increasingly frustrated with the rising number of burglaries. In addition to losing product, they also have to deal with related paperwork issues, he said.

In recent years, Oklahoma has taken several steps to combat prescription fraud, substance abuse, “doctor shopping” and other illegal activity related to prescription drugs.

For example, since April 5 all dispensers are required to report prescription data every 24 hours. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, all dispensers will be required to report dispensing of scheduled drugs at the time they are delivered to a customer.

For more information on state efforts, including the prescription monitoring program, visit | 341-2121, ext. 108