Chemists hit by drug thefts
A GANG of suspected drug manufacturers broke into two Bundaberg pharmacies, stealing dozens of packets of cold and flu medication in the smash-and-grab raids.
Bundaberg Police Criminal Investigation Branch officer in charge Joe Hildred said three offenders kicked in the laminated glass door of the Burrum Street Coral Coast Pharmacy just after 9pm on Thursday.
“They removed (cold and flu medication) Sudafed-type products and cash,” Detective Senior Sergeant Hildred said.
“They were only inside for about 30 seconds.”
Just over an hour later, offenders also shattered the front door to Coral Coast Pharmacy Eastside on Princess Street, where they stole more cold and flu medication.
“We believe it is the same three people,” Det Snr Sgt Hildred said.
“We believe they may be involved in the production of methamphetamines, due to the nature of the stolen goods.”
But the thefts will not fuel the region's drug trade - pharmacist David Holmes said the stolen drugs contained no pseudoephedrine.
“Unfortunately the problems with pseudoephedrine are on the rise, and these incidents highlight the desperation of people who will resort to such measures to obtain supplies of pseudo products for illicit purposes,” Mr Holmes said.
“This reinforces our decision earlier this year not to stock any pseudoephedrine products in any of our pharmacies.”
Mr Holmes said it was the second time this year the Burrum Street pharmacy had been the target of drug-seeking thieves, and the third time this year for the eastside store.
“It's a disturbing situation that emphasises the necessity for everyone in the pharmacy industry to take steps to protect our staff, customers and businesses against these people,” Mr Holmes said.
The men all wore clothing covering their heads, but Bundaberg Police are reviewing CCTV footage.