This article is over 16 years old

News

Local Pharmacies Hit by Prescription Drug Theft Ring

Members of a Houston theft ring are stealing thousands of prescription drugs from local pharmacies. Police are looking for suspects in the string of more than 100 burglaries. Houston Public Radio’s Laurie Johnson reports. Click to Listen Since June 1st more than a million prescription pills have been stolen from privately-owned mom & pop pharmacies. […]

Members of a Houston theft ring are stealing thousands of prescription drugs from local pharmacies. Police are looking for suspects in the string of more than 100 burglaries. Houston Public Radio’s Laurie Johnson reports.

Click to Listen

Since June 1st more than a million prescription pills have been stolen from privately-owned mom & pop pharmacies. Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Dan Webb says 10 suspects are already in custody.

“They are part of a loosely organized group of about 30 or more individuals that are participating in these burglaries.”

They’re stealing large quantities of hydrocodone, Soma and Xanex, drugs that have a street value in Houston of about $1-$1.50 per pill.

“When they transport these drugs to other states, say if you go to Kansas City or Chicago, the same drug that sells for $1-$1.50 here is going for like $7-$12 in other states. So you can see there’s an extremely high profit margin for them to take it to other states and sell it.”

So depending on where the pills are sold, the ring could be bringing in millions of dollars from illegal street sales. The thieves have hit Houston pharmacies nearly every day since the beginning of June. And now Austin Police are reporting burglaries, which have been traced back to Houston suspects. Webb says the suspects work in small groups of twos and threes and wear baseball caps or scarves to hide their identities.

“It’s not as organized as say a drug cartel. Don’t make that mistake, it’s not a drug cartel. But it’s a loosely organized group that participate and assist each other.”

State and local officials are asking for help from the public and CrimeStoppers is offering up to $5,000 for the arrest of suspects. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 713-222-TIPS. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.