Burglars hit 4 drug stores across Santa Clarita area

A fractured and scratched door marks the entrance to Newhall Pharmacy on Main Street on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

Four burglars wearing hoodies went on a vandalism spree for prescription drugs overnight, hitting four pharmacies across the Santa Clarita Valley.

Between 12:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Thursday, burglars broke into and stole prescription drugs from drug stores in Valencia, Saugus, Castaic and Newhall, Sgt. Pete Bringas of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station told The Signal Thursday morning.

“At three of the pharmacies, they were looking for pharmaceutical drugs and related items, anything from pills to prescription type of drugs,” Bringas said. “At the Walgreens in Castaic, they took cigarettes.”

Detectives do not yet have a description of the suspects or a getaway car, Bringas said.

A bent and scratched door marks the entrance to The Druggist pharmacy on Smyth Drive in Valencia on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

The first pharmacy hit was The Druggist in Valencia, on Smyth Drive near Valencia High School.

Thieves then burglarized the Saugus Drugs & Hallmark pharmacy at Bouquet Canyon and Haskell Canyon roads.

They then stole items including cigarettes from the Walgreens in Castaic on Sloan Canyon Road, just west of The Old Road.

The fourth and last pharmacy hit was the Newhall Pharmacy at Main and Sixth streets.

Through surveillance video footage obtained from one of the businesses that was burglarized, detectives were able to view four male suspects, wearing hoodies and long pants, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station said.

“At this time, it has not been confirmed whether the same suspects are connected with the other pharmacy burglaries,” she said.

A fractured and scratched door marks the entrance to Newhall Pharmacy on Main Street on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

Once the detectives have reviewed and compared all four burglaries, to determine if they are connected, they will release more information

Eileen Abergel, manager of The Druggist in Valencia, said she hopes local sheriff’s deputies do something about what she calls an ongoing problem.

“Last night, shortly after midnight, four men broke open the door with a crowbar broke open the gate with a crowbar, came in, jumped the wall and took whatever medication they thought they needed evidently and took off,”

”It’s a violation,” she said. “You don’t want to see it happen ever and it’s really sad that people feel they have to go to that extent to try to get the drugs they think they need  or want to sell out on the street.”

Drug store burglaries have been happening regularly in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to Abergel.

“I hope the Santa Clarita (Valley) sheriff actually does something about this,” Abergel said. “This has happened more than once once here and at other pharmacies in the valley.”

Sheriff’s Station officials said they began increasing deputy patrols at night for all businesses in response to a request by store officials last February.

As a result of the rash of break-ins, the pharmacy has changed its procedure and offers certain narcotics more and more through less traditional means, which tend to make the drugs less attractive to thieves, she said.

“For us, we switched to do more compounding,” Abergel said. “We don’t want to carry the drugs these people are after.”

Abergel also had a message for the burglars: “Don’t come back.”

“They need to realize,” she said. “That everything is filmed here. We’re watching. All the businesses around us are watching. They are going to get caught. They need to stop.”

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