In New York they are trying something new to in an attempt to reduce the number of store robberies over painkillers. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly introduced the “Operation Safety Cap” which will use “bait bottles” fitted with GPS tracking devices.
The NYPD would ask local pharmacies to stock painkiller bottles fitted with GPS tracking devices for high powered pain pills such as OxyContin and OxyCodone. These are the drugs that are being targeted by people that are robbing the pharmacies. In Manhattan alone, more than 9,000 pain pill bottles were seized by officials in 2012 that were being sold in an open-air drug market.
Easiest way to get meds is from friends and family
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a recent announcement that public hospitals in the city would start restricting emergency room patients to a maximum three-day supply of opioids. The reason for this is that many drug addicts will get pills from friends and family who may have been written a prescription for pain pills that they never finished.
While introducing “Operation Safety Cap,” Kelly shared stories such as the case of a 33-year old military veteran, who had no prior criminal record, but fatally shot four persons while robbing a Long Island pharmacy in 2011where, he was trying to obtain prescription drugs to feed both his and his wife’s painkiller habit.
Kelly also shared stories of policemen who became addicted to prescription pain pills. One in particular, incurred an injury on the job and began robbing drug stores at gunpoint. This is a story that is becoming much more common than ever before.
Hopefully Operation Safety Cap catches on everywhere
Additional efforts include creating a database of the 6,000 pharmacies within the city for monitoring and helping to improve security measures. The hopes are that by using bait bottles the stolen pills will be easier to locate and that this will help to reduce prescription drug abuse.