Looting in late September dealt a heavy blow to independent pharmacies in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Association of Retail Druggists (PARD) reports that during the mayhem, 15-20 pharmacies were targeted, leaving some struggling to remain operational.
Rob Frankil, President of PARD, expressed the despair felt by many pharmacy owners, with some considering closing shop. “One guy said, ‘This is my last straw. I gotta get out,'” Frankil lamented.
Authorities have released two videos to aid in identifying more suspects involved in the violent looting spree across North Philadelphia. One video captures at least five individuals crawling through a broken window at a pharmacy on September 27, located on the 100 block of West Diamond Street. Inside, one of the suspects brandished a gun as they ransacked the store, making off with bags filled with medications.
The previous night, a group forcibly entered a business on the 200 block of West Lehigh Avenue, damaging a lottery machine with tools. The extent of their loot remains unclear.
Pharmacy owners face additional challenges as they must report break-ins to the state and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) if controlled substances were stolen. This administrative burden compounds the stress of being victimized.
Detectives urge anyone with information to come forward and assist in the ongoing investigation.