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Robbery

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by generic09, Jan 8, 2009.

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    Is there any type of class or anything about protection? I was just thinking how dangerous Pharmacy is. You have all these crazies that want to steal uppers and downers from you and right around the corner, there is a Pharmacy with all these drugs. I think if I become a Pharmacist, I want to have some sort of protection behind the pharmacy in the event that some crazy is jacked on something, comes in and starts shooting everyone up. I just spent a bit of time googling robberies and you'd be surprised how many there are. :eek: So I was curious if part of your Pharmacy training involves how to protect from an assailant? I think it makes sense to have bullet proof glasses in the inner city but anywhere there is a Pharmacy, I think danger is inevitable. I am all for gun ownership to prevent the scum of society from robbing the good of society. Is this part of your training? Is it even talked about?
  2. TonyRx

    TonyRx Hamburglar

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    I can't say with 100% certainty since I am not in Pharmacy School yet, but I highly doubt much effort or discussion is focused around the safety of the Pharmacist regarding robberies. Please correct me if I am wrong though.

    I work for Walgreens in Orlando(large string of robberies in 2008) as an Assistant Manager and CPhT...and not much has been done to help with safety back in the Pharmacy. Over 85 Pharmacies were robbed in the Central Florida area in 2008, and I know many Pharmacists that were worried on a daily basis about the possibility of being robbed.

    Personally, I have my Concealed Weapons Permit and own a couple guns for home protection...but Walgreens(like 99.9% of companies) doesn't allow for any Concealed Weapons at work for protection. Even if I were to go through the extensive training of getting my G-License(armed security training), Walgreens would still not allow me to carry at work. I don't agree with the policy, but I understand their point of view.

    All in all, I think you bring up a good point and a serious topic that is often overlooked in the Pharmacy profession. This world has way too many whacko's, and not enough armed law-biding citizens.
  3. Glycerin

    Glycerin Commercially Unavailable Moderator Emeritus

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    No, it wasn't part of the curriculum or talked about for me. You do know there are different areas of pharmacy than just retail, no?
  4. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    The principles are the same as they are in any type of encounter with an armed criminal: don't be a hero, comply with the demands of the robberpromptly, give them what they want, call the police after they leave, etc. etc. I don't think it really warrants much discussion in class.

    We talked about it briefly in one of my classes. I don't think pharmacies are any more (or less) likely to be robbed than say, a convenience store or a bank.
  5. TonyRx

    TonyRx Hamburglar

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    I think Glycerin brings up a great point, that this topic primarily focuses on the retail aspect of Pharmacy. An easy way to avoid the dangers associated with retail Pharmacy, is to steer clear of it after Pharmacy School.

    I know I will definitely be exploring my options outside retail when I am in Pharmacy School.:)
  6. Yes, I am aiming for a more introverted role like working in an office that ships out to pharmacy companies. I am just disillusioned having worked as a delivery driver for all of this time and having known several of my driver colleagues to fall victim to being preyed on by the absolute scum of society. But that is a whole different story altogether. But in all honesty, these other pharmacy offices beyond retail could get hit also and IMO, any smart criminal would realize the potential of such places.
  7. Also, if I may change the topic to include any all areas a Pharmacist's works where drugs are present in massive quantities. In all honesty beyond the scum of society you could take someone who was prescribed Lorezepam who has to change insurance who cannot have coverage for over a year due to a preexisting condition and put this individual into withdrawal from this drug from being not able to afford it. All I am saying is I think anyone in need of medication(drugs) can become a desperate criminal.
  8. Ross434

    Ross434

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    i know somebody who did that when they ran out of ativan. but they were also an abuser and an addict. she got caught though.. didnt have a weapon and didnt have any idea what they were doing.

    I'd say due to the fact that there probably arent a lot of criminal masterminds out there robbing the pharmacy, or dedicated cold blood killers, most robbery incidents would probably go over pretty smoothly if you just acted calm and gave the people their drugs or money. it's not like you're dealing with axe murderers or professional criminals here.
  9. Let's hope not. But there is a serious vulnerability in pharmacies. It looks like a playground for the criminal mastermind.
  10. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    I'm definitely going to buy a gun after I graduate. Anyone tries to rob the pharmacy, I'll grant them access to the safe, and once they turn around, they will get 3 in the back and one in the head.
  11. acetyl

    acetyl

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    REAL smart buddy. :smuggrin::thumbdown:
  12. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist

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    Yes; I worked in a pharmacy that was held up 3 times in 6 months. I was not on any of those times, but basically, my co-workers gave the thieves no reason to hurt them.

    I disagree. We've got all the good stuff: money, drugs, and cigarettes. I guess in some states, they've got guns, too; it's one-stop shopping for your posse.

    Do they sell booze in drugstores stateside? Here in Ontario, alcohol is sold in government-run outlets. But if you've got booze, there's one more thing to make you a target.

    My former workplace was also especially vulnerable because we were close to the on/off ramps for a major highway = quick getaway.
  13. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow. What a horrendously bad idea.
  14. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    Some of them do. Walgreens doesn't have alcohol (at least in my state). Rite Aid has alcohol. I don't know about CVS. Kroger has alcohol (just beer and malt), cigs and drugs. Walmart has cigs, drugs and guns. But, the robber would have to be in the store a LONG time to get all that stuff.

    I can just see some genius robber with a shopping cart at Walmart, sticking up the pharmacy for cash and drugs, the service desk for cigs and the hunting dept for weapons. Then they walk out the front door and get shot by the SWAT team. Darwin Award!
  15. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    I haven't seen any CVS in New York with alcohol but the one I saw in Texas did sell it.
  16. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    It varies from district to district, at least in New York. CVS in Buffalo sells beer, but none of the stores on Long Island do. I'm not sure if it's up to the individual counties or a regional policy.
  17. museabuse

    museabuse Senior Member

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    The cvs I work at in AZ has liquor and beer/wine. There is one whole isle devoted to it and there are more cameras and security in the isle than the pharmacy.

    I have been robbed, I think by an addict wanting oxycontin. Just gave them a couple bottles and they were on their way. Wasn't that scary. now if they were pointing their gun at me and yelling that would be a diff story.

    Cvs doesn't even have panic buttons. Cvs doesn't care about the safety of their pharmacists, if they did they would invest in panic buttons and cameras that have good resolution because you couldn't even make out the logo on the guys hat let alone see his face. He was a white guy but when u looked at the. Camera he looked Mexican.
  18. Ross434

    Ross434

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    sarcasm i hope!
  19. Goggletard

    Goggletard The god of dentin!

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    Man I feel sorry for you guys having to still deal with those maniacs. I worked as technician at Walgreens all through high school and during my undergrad. I've been held up 4 different times for narcotics and money......its was pretty crazy each time it happened. I will never forget what that was like. Since I was a student I just had the odds against me of always being there at night. Not once did it ever happen during the day during my time in pharmacy..

    If they have a gun and know specifically what they want......just give them the damn safe keys and let them go nuts. Especially if they jump over the counter and are standing back there, staring at you. I wasnt about to be a hero and die to save a bottle of generic Percocet, or a couple bottles of Oxycontin for Walgreens man. They never did anything to make changes to keep us safe after it happened. Even after the 4th time it happened at my store, sorry Walgreens, but you'll be allright. Its just not my problem to deal with. Seeing those maniacs wave a gun around just straight up sucks. If they are all strung out and dope sick or something, they'll do whatever it takes to get what they need. Dont get in the way...

    Im so glad I got burned out with pharmacy and the way those customers treat you. After 6 years in the rx, being an rph was last thing I wanted to do at that point. There is no way I would want to worry about getting robbed everyday I went to work. Just be careful and dont get shot man......its not your money you need to protect.

    Nobody likes the dentist, I think Im pretty safe now.....:D

  20. This makes me want to wear a bullet proof vest. and hide a 1 shooter under my sleeve. with a nice feature built in to send it into my hand. maybe a 2 shooter. I'll aim for the head. :laugh:

    Sucks for you. Makes me hate corporations even more.

    Wouldn't be neat if walgreen's had a sniper on hand hidden on the roof. They could have holes in the ventilation to take the perfect shot. Easy enough.
  21. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Nope, I'd definitely be aiming to maim.
  22. clachan3

    clachan3 Member

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    I don't think having a gun would help me much. It doesn't worth anything for me to point a gun at somebody to protect the drugs or money. I guess the idea was to protect myself, but from what has happened in my area, those robbers just want to take the stuff not to kill someone. Working night shift pretty much means be prepared to get robbed, doesn't matter what neighborhood you are in. I don't think I'll ever work as a night pharmacist in retail...
  23. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist

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    I know a pharmacist who used to own a few drugstores in eastern Ontario, and he got robbed so often (lots of biker gangs in nearby Quebec) that he kept his narcs in a fishing tackle box so he could hand them off to the bikers with a minimum of risk to himself or his staff.

    But one day, a super-twitchy thief thought the pharmacist was moving too slow, and shot him. He's okay; got hit in the leg, nothing serious. But he sold all his drugstores and took a job as the chief of pharmacy in a psychiatric hospital, and finished his career there (he's retired now).

    People are always asking me, do you feel safe, working in a jail? Actually, I feel lots safer in the jail than when I worked retail, 'cause I know who the criminals are, they're locked up, and their guns have been taken away from them.

    You're better off without a gun, really. Why be a hero? And a gun can be turned on you.
  24. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Well, a gun can't be turned on you when they are now trying to get away and have their backs turned on you.
  25. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    If the situation ended peacefully, why make it any worse? I sincerely hope I never have to come to you in a professional capacity, it doesn't seem like intelligent decision making is your forte.
  26. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Well, if you can now prevent the criminal from getting away with thousands of dollars worth of drugs and you're confident in your shooting skills, take the shot. All it means is one less drug addict.

    I'd do the same thing if I was being mugged on the street. I'd give them my wallet, and when they turn around and start walking away, I will pull out my gun and shoot them enough to incapacitate.
  27. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    Pharmacies have insurance to cover losses from stolen items. You'll end up in a trickier situation if you shoot a guy in the leg to "incapacitate" but accidentally hit his femoral artery.

    They might not be the cream of the crop in society, but they're still people. It isn't our right to play judge, jury and executioner.
  28. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    So yeah, when they violate your rights by coming into the pharmacy and robbing you or by mugging you on the street, you're saying that we don't have the right to fight back?

    I could easily claim self defense even if I kill the offender.
  29. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor Partner Organization

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    Self defense only applies if your life is in immediate danger. If you shoot a fleeing criminal in the back, that is not self defense. It's revenge or an attempt to get the stolen property back. These are not valid reasons to take someone's life and the law will not protect you.
  30. Praziquantel86

    Praziquantel86 Moderator Emeritus

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    Would you honestly take a life over a few Norco? Seems a bit ridiculous to me.
  31. museabuse

    museabuse Senior Member

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    You would end up in jail. Thats cool, apparently with the last few threads we are in a pharmacist shortage anyways.
  32. JeremyE30

    JeremyE30 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    I'm with you Sparda. If someone is willing to brandish a weapon and demand drugs/money, then I assume they think my life is worth less than said items. Therefore, I could care less if they were dead. This society is too soft on criminals, and it is giving them the assurance that they can get away with everything. Bring a gun, hold up the pharmacy, the criminal is gone, cop shows up 30 minutes later, do it again tomorrow, no big deal. The criminal probably had a bad life and we should just feel sorry for them. Its not like they are pointing a gun at you and basically saying your life is worth a few grains of lead and some money.

    I love living in GA and having a CCW and permit through the state.
  33. farmist

    farmist

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    If you were to shoot an armed robber in the pharmacy. I don't think law enforcement would question your claim of self defense. In Texas and states with castle law (you may protect your possessions with lethal force) even the judges will side with you. Instead of shooting them in the back, you should shoot them in the leg until they turn around.
  34. JeremyE30

    JeremyE30 Accepted Pharmacy Student

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    ++++1 ftw
  35. rxliteguy

    rxliteguy Removed

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    I was a victim of an oxycontin robbery. I was a cashier back then. Our procedure is to give them whatever they want. Your life is not worth it to say no or fight back. It's not like the robber is stealing out of your own bank account. What you want to do is be a good witness. Look for any distinguishing facial marks, type of clothing ,and note what that person is touching so they can do finger printing. Remember, these are usually drug addicts who will do anything to get high again. Eventually the police and detectives will find the person. In my case, 6 months later they finally caught the person. Now that person is serving jail for only 2 years. Good thing I don't work at that store anymore.

    What I would like to see is retail pharmacies invest more in higher resolution cameras. When I got robbed, there was no camera in the pharmacy, just the one in the entrance to the main store. The resolution was terrible. What we should do is have multiple cameras for different angles. Make the cameras hidden instead of being obivious, so that the robbers don't wear ski masks. Remember, the point is not to catch these robbers in the pharmacy but later on when they least expect it, where they can't do harm. Also if they do get out of jail, it is least likely they will direct their revenge at the pharmacy.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  36. museabuse

    museabuse Senior Member

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    I don't blame you for wanting the criminal that just pulled a gun on you to die and if they did die I don't think anyone would feel bad about it, and yes it would be one less drug addict criminal on the street. The problem is if you did shoot them when they were fleeing you probably would be charged with something and I am not sure the board would allow you to practice pharmacy anymore.

    So is one less drug addict worth your career?
  37. Megas

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    We spent a few hours (two or three) in one of our pharmacy business administration classes on what to do when you get robbed. Robberies have happened locally in retail pharmacies as well as a closed-door LTC pharmacy (the door was closed, but not locked).
  38. Phlame217

    Phlame217 OMS-IV

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    I haven't been robbed in the pharmacy profession, but I was robbed while working at a bank. I can personally attest to the feeling of pure hopelessness as you stare down the cold glinting barrel of a 45 auto pistol with a 50 ammo clip sticking out. Not a pleasant experience at all. Thank god for panic buttons, the bank i used to work at had curtain glass that fell and separated the clerks when pressed and it was bulletproof to most large calibers. The guy ran and got caught a few minutes later as a patrol car happend to be across the street and got the call immediately.

    Recently, we've had two unarmed robberies of nearby pharmacies. The guy walks up heavily dressed and hands a note over requesting all narcotics in a bag and threatens he has a gun, but has never shown it.
  39. museabuse

    museabuse Senior Member

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    If they say they have a gun or act like they have a gun it is ARMED robbery and if caught will be charged with armed robbery.

    No reason to make them pull it out and show you or try and call their bluff. Do not agitate them and give them what they want... its not your drugs or money. The experience is less tramatic that way. Would you rather be robbed by a guy that kept his loaded gun in his pants or aimed at your head. Seems like an easy choice, unless your stupid.
  40. Phlame217

    Phlame217 OMS-IV

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    Both pharmacies did as you said, and its exactly as I would do in the situation lol.

    But... we had a conference call with our whole district over the robberies and out dm said not to turn over drugs unless a gun is shown or some other weapon... sigh.
  41. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Sure give them what they want when they are facing you, and as soon as they turn around, you shoot them, its that easy.
  42. loo

    loo Always Sleepy

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    I was robbed when I was in my last year of pharmacy school.

    The 3 robbers were organized, but very twitchy and I (along with my store manger and pharmacist) thought we were going to die that day.

    They had guns and ski masks and came in 5 minutes before closing. These particular robbers had the manager open the safe, another guard the door, and the last stand behind me and the RPh with a loaded weapon pointed at us while we opened the safes.

    Then, after what seemed like hours, we were herded into the back room and forced to lie face down. Any wallets, purses, jewelry were taken from us. I thought for sure we were going to be shot. Lucky for us, they didn't.

    All this BS about shooting robbers is exactly that---BS. If you are unlucky enough to be robbed with armed perps, cooperate and don't do anything that might get you or others killed.
  43. Prepharm1214

    Prepharm1214

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    With how pharmacies are situated in retail stores - being in the very back - it would seem to be a crime deterrent in itself. A robber doesn't want to have to shuffle through the whole store to get to the pharmacy with a ski mask on, or exit in the same fashion.
  44. rxliteguy

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    I actually don't think pharmacies being situated in the back is a crime deterrent. When I got robbed, there was an emergency exit next to the pharamacy. That's where they make their quick exit.
  45. museabuse

    museabuse Senior Member

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    What company? That's f'd up. Get that policy in writing so that whenever the pharmacist gets shot for pissing off the guy with the note, the pharmacists family will get millions.
  46. rxliteguy

    rxliteguy Removed

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    Lets consider these cases if you do decide to shoot him:
    1.) The guy lives and gets out of jail in 2 years and seeks revenge on you or the pharmacy.
    2.) Your gun jams. He looks back and sees you point the gun at him. He takes out his gun and shoots you.


    In other words, if there is any risk at all, don't do it. Let the police and detectives take care of it outside of the pharmacy environment. Trust me, they wil 90% of the time eventually catch them.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  47. kcwang

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