Suspects Wanted in Pharmacy Burglaries

While many were ringing in the New Year with champagne, two suspects smashed the front glass door of a Fort Smith pharmacy with a wooden hammer.

Officers responded to a commercial burglary alarm at Vaughn Prescription Drug Store in the 500 block of Lexington Avenue around 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, according to Sgt. Daniel Grubbs.

Surveillance video shows two white men bust through the front glass door of the business and steal several bottles of prescription pills.

But they didn’t get away with the kinds of drugs police come to expect in these types of break-ins.

“Typically high-power pain killers is what most of these burglaries target, but right now that’s not been the items, to our knowledge, that were taken,” Sgt. Grubbs said.

Investigators aren’t releasing the type of pills that were taken. Police are processing the wooden hammer left at the scene and other items for prints.

The suspects are described as white males, between the ages of 20-30. They were wearing heavy jackets, jeans, and sneakers at the time of the burglary.

The next day around 1:30 a.m. a second burglary was reported at Coleman Pharmacy on Grand Avenue.

“This fella didn’t even bother to look at the register,” said Mike Smets, owner of Coleman Pharmacy. “He went straight to the pharmacy.”

Sgt. Grubbs says that break-in is similar to the one at Vaughn Pharmacy and they are investigating to see if the two are connected. “The basic MOs are pretty close to the same, timing’s about the same,” said Sgt. Grubbs.

Coleman Pharmacy has an alarm system and surveillance cameras. Smets already had the front door replaced.

“We’ve been really fortunate,” said Smets. “We haven’t had it happen in quite some time.”

Smets is still trying to determine what was stolen.

 If you have any information on these crimes or recognize the suspects, call the River Valley Crime Stoppers tip line at (479) 78-CRIME. You will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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