Police Investigating Reason Behind Increase In Pharmacy Robberie - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police Investigating Reason Behind Increase In Pharmacy Robberies

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Right now police are still investigating each pharmacy robbery, including this one from Shopko, and so far, they only think three of the six are connected. However, after six robberies, officers say this uptick in crime speaks to a bigger problem. Right now police are still investigating each pharmacy robbery, including this one from Shopko, and so far, they only think three of the six are connected. However, after six robberies, officers say this uptick in crime speaks to a bigger problem.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Right now police are still investigating each pharmacy robbery and so far, they only think three of the six are connected. However, after six robberies, officers say this uptick in crime speaks to a bigger problem.

"This really highlights the problem that exists in the city with some prescription pain killer addiction, that somebody is willing to go to these lengths and endanger themselves and other people to obtain that substance," said Captain Brad Arleth with the Spokane Police Tactical Operations Bureau.

The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers to get high. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in Spokane and each time a pharmacy is robbed, police say it is likely that someone is trying to feed their addiction.

Although police have not been able to pin point the reason behind the sudden increase just yet, investigators are looking into several possibilities. For example, police say it could be that someone lost their source for getting the drug. Or that someone new to the area does not have a source yet, so in the meantime, they are stealing pain medications from the pharmacies.

"It very well could be that there was a supply of pills, illegally that was coming in from out of the area, that's somehow been interrupted, so people are resorting to obtaining their own," Captain Arleth said.

Police say it is unusual to have this many at one time, but that it is something officers have seen before. Right now police are taking a close look at all the robberies and are trying to focus on trends to come up with the answer behind the crimes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Crime Stoppers is now offering a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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