Two pharmacies targeted by burglars

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COLUMBIA – Burglars targeted two drugstores in Columbia early Wednesday morning.

The Columbia Police Department responded to an alarm at Flow’s Pharmacy on Keene Street. Police found a shattered glass door and window broken out. Suspects stole a cabinet of narcotics from the pharmacy.

Thirty minutes earlier, officers had responded to another alarm at D&H Drugstore on West Broadway. A glass door was shattered, but still intact, meaning suspects didn’t enter the building. Locks were damaged and pry marks were left on the door.

The owner of Flow's said burglaries are nothing new for the store.

“It was about the sixth time in four years,” Randy Flow said.

National numbers for pharmacy break-ins show there is a 14 percent probability of a pharmacy being targeted by criminals, according to Pharmacist's Mutual Insurance Company.

"Pretty common thing all over the country," Flow said. "D&H has been burglarized three times I believe in the last several months."

Pharmacist's Mutual said pharmacies must often invest thousands of dollars to improve security measures.

A worker who was replacing the broken window at Flow’s said the cost of damages from the window and door could easily add up to one thousand dollars.

Flow said, “They’re almost always after drugs. They’ll walk right by quite a bit of money in a cash register and won’t even touch it.”

Pharmacists Mutual said the number of people abusing prescription drugs in America nearly doubled from 2000-2010, reaching 7 million people.

Officials said they don’t know if the incident at Flow's and D&H are related.