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Double trouble: Repeat pharmacy burglar jailed for a year

Desmond Young, who broke into the same pharmacy twice in short succession to steal Class C drugs, has been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.

A Carlisle man has been sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment after he twice burgled a pharmacy in Dalston, Cumbria police announced last week (November 10).


Desmond Thomas Young, 30, of Balfour Road, Carlisle, first broke into Dalston Pharmacy on the evening of August 20 this year by forcing his way in through the store’s glass door, the police said.


Mr Young filled up a backpack with medication from the pharmacy’s storeroom and fled “on a red bicycle…dropping packages of medication as he made off”, it added.


Read more: Illegally traded drugs worth ‘almost’ £5m seized in 2023, says MHRA


A little over a fortnight later on September 7, Mr Young returned to the scene of his first break-in and entered the Bank Street pharmacy by “kicking the boarded window from where he forced entry” during his first burglary of the store, the police said.


Cumbria police reported that Mr Young again raided the pharmacy’s medication stores and again fled the scene of the crime on a red bicycle.


On this occasion, a witness filmed Mr Young’s getaway and reported it to the police, the force said.



‘Hundreds’ of pregabalin tablets



Cumbria police found a red bike and Mr Young at an address “linked” to him on Hope Street and detained him, it said.


Officers found “hundreds” of pregabalin tablets, empty blister packets and full pill boxes of the drug inside the address, as well as clothing belonging to Mr Young that matched items worn by the offender on September 7 and “the black backpack used in the first burglary”, it added.


Read more: Boots joins UK retail giants to fund Home Office operation tackling shoplifting


Mr Young was jailed for 12 months for two counts of burglary and possession with intent to supply Class C drugs at Carlisle Crown Court on Friday (November 10), after first appearing at North Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in September.


Cumbria police constable Angus Fulton said that Mr Young had stolen “significant amounts” of medication with an “intention to supply” it to others.


He added that the police takes burglaries “extremely seriously” and called on the public to “remain vigilant to the threat of thefts and burglaries”.


Read more: Suspended sentence for illegal POM dealers found with 1.3m pills


In March last year, C+D revealed that at least 1,240 reports of violent crime at pharmacies had been received by police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2021.


Our investigation, based on freedom of information (FOI) requests, also found that in that year, pharmacies had experienced 5,011 incidents of theft or shoplifting.


Meanwhile, the medicines watchdog revealed this month that more than two million medicine doses traded illegally over the internet have been seized so far this year.

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