Staff at a Plymouth pharmacy have been left "frustrated" after its controlled drugs cabinet was "mutilated" and medicines stolen.
Police were called to Milehouse Pharmacy on Wolseley Road, Plymouth last week (June 3) at around 4am after burglars forced open the front door and conducted an "untidy search", Devon and Cornwall Police said on the day of the burglary.
The cabinet was forced open and and unknown number of offenders left with the till drawer and controlled drugs including bottles of methadone, diazepam and temazepam, the police said.
Pharmacist Helen Tugwell told C+D that staff were "stressed" as a result of the additional workload caused by the burglary. Having experienced burglaries almost two decades ago, Ms Tugwell branded this incident "particularly expensive".
"We had a spate of burglaries 16 to 18 years ago - I've been held at knifepoint twice. This was unusual in that I've never had a burglary where the CD cupboard was mutilated," she said.
It was obvious that "a lot of physical effort" had gone into damaging the pharmacy, with shattered glass at the entrance, stock "everywhere" and paperwork left in "unexpected places", she told C+D.
Patients could not enter the store while repairs were being carried out the following day, and staff had to liase with patients who had run out of their medication outside the premises, Ms Tugwell added.
Detective inspector John Bancroft said the drugs had been locked in a “substantial cabinet” and stressed that the offenders “must have spent a considerable amount of time on the premises”. He urged anyone who was offered any of the stolen drugs or knew who was responsible to contact the police, as taking the stolen medication - in particular methadone - without a prescription could “result in serious health risks”.
Anyone with any information should email police on [email protected] or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, Devon and Cornwall Police added.