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Five York pharmacies raided in 10 nights

A piece of concrete was thrown through the window of MJ Roberts Pharmacy in York. Credit: © 2017 Google, image capture: June 2016.
A piece of concrete was thrown through the window of MJ Roberts Pharmacy in York. Credit: © 2017 Google, image capture: June 2016.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a break-in at MJ Roberts Pharmacy last week, the fifth pharmacy in the York area to be raided in 10 days.

North Yorkshire Police told C+D it is investigating the break-in at the pharmacy on Boroughbridge Road in York, and confirmed two men in their thirties have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“The incident happened at 4:20 am on Wednesday, July 26. Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police,” they said.

Four other pharmacies – three located in the outskirts of York and one in the city centre – were raided in the previous week alone.

Concrete thrown through window

MJ Roberts Pharmacy owner Matthew Roberts told C+D that a piece of concrete was thrown through the window and money was taken out of the till.

He suspected that they were targeting pregabalin, judging by other thefts in the area, he said.

The drugs had been moved, so the thieves could not find it, Mr Roberts added.

Two Boots pharmacies targetted

The incident followed a burglary at The Pharmacy, The Green, Poppleton, which took place at 1.10am on July 21. North Yorkshire Police confirmed drugs and a small amount of cash were stolen.

There was also an incident in a Boots branch on Kings Square on July 17, according to the branch manager. The York Post reported a window was smashed and a large quantity of prescription drugs taken.

In addition, Boots, at The Old School, Acomb was burgled at 5:15am two days later, where a number of drugs were stolen.

Commenting on both break-ins, a Boots spokesperson said: “We take the safety of our colleagues and customers very seriously. Our priority now is to support our colleagues following the incidents which took place.

“We can confirm that we’re actively supporting the police with their investigations.”

North Yorkshire police also received a report at 4:28am on July 19 that Living Care Pharmacy on Green Lane, Acomb was broken into. They confirmed to C+D that nothing was stolen.

“Be vigilant and review security”

Community Pharmacy North Yorkshire (CPNY) told C+D today (July 31) that after it was made aware of the first two break-ins, it “alerted all pharmacies in North Yorkshire”.

“We kept all pharmacies up to date with details of the further three break-ins and subsequent police arrests, strongly advising that all be vigilant and review security,” engagement officer Laura Smart told C+D.

Ms Smart said CPNY was able to offer a “supportive ear and advice where required”, but replacing missing stock “so as not to lose continuity of care was an urgent concern”.

“CPNY is hopeful that the arrests made will mean an end to this spate of break-ins and has alerted its neighbouring local pharmaceutical committees to recent events, so that they are able to make pharmacies in the surrounding area aware,” Ms Smart added.

North Yorkshire Police told C+D its advice to pharmacists is to “ensure security measures are in place” and “all CCTV is in working order”.

It confirmed the break-ins are “under investigation” and advised anyone with information to call 101.

What security measures do you have in place in your pharmacy?

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

Had one break in and one attempted one 10 days later- Night of second attempt one other pharmacy was raided and another attempted. A thid pharmacy broken into during same period. Gabapentin and pregabalin high on the shopping list-


Shamir Patel, Community pharmacist

Having been broken into 3 Times, we now have Level 1 police response, roof vibration sensors, internal motion sensors, external monitored CCTV

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