Changes made at the urging of the Vancouver Police Department seem to have had an immediate impact on thieves targeting pharmacies for drugs.
Police Chief Adam Palmer says last September the B.C. College of Pharmacists implemented changes requested by police.
He says before the new guidelines, there were about 40 pharmacy robberies a year – but since the, the results have been dramatic.
“The regulations went into place for better security requirements and time release safes, like they have done down in the United States. And since September 15th of 2015 there have only been three pharmacy robberies in B.C. So we are very happy with those results.”
He says the force believes word is travelling among potential thieves that getting into a pharmacy likely isn’t worth the effort.
“It sounds like the word has gotten out on the street and the criminals know that if they go in they are not going to get anything out of pharmacy because the drugs are locked in a time delay safe. The Pharamcy is still doing its business. They would have a small amount of drugs on hand just to do small transactions but the bulk of all the drugs stored in the Pharmacy would be locked in the safe and not accessible.”
Pharmacy robberies are believed to be one of the key ways that the deadly drug fentanyl is making its way onto the street.