Chemists plan action against drug thieves


GLADSTONE pharmacies may soon work with police to combat the theft of cold and flu tablets used in the production of methyl amphetamines and speed.

Windmill Pharmacy owner Stuart Keen said his store had been targeted seven times in the past five months, including the most recent robbery, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning when about $2000 worth of medication was stolen.

In light of this recent break-in, Mr Keen said he had decided to take pro-active measures to deter thieves.

"We have two problems ? the first is a problem with security, which we're addressing by taking the necessary precautions to reduce opportunities for thieves; and the second is the ongoing problem faced by all pharmacies, and that's the responsibility we have of trying to distinguish between people with genuine needs and those using the tablets to make drugs,'' Mr Keen said.

Gladstone Police Senior Ser-geant Leigh Burt said police were issuing a warning to all pharmacists to have adequate security procedures.

"Some of these drugs are schedule 2 or 3 drugs ? and for schedule 3 it's necessary to take the name and address of the person they're being sold to, because they can be used to manufacture speed and amphetamines,'' he said.

Snr Sgt Burt said anyone considering purchasing large quantities of cold and flu tablets, including Sudafed, would be considered suspect by police.

"We're going to work with local chemists to put some things in place and it's important they ensure their trading hour and afterhour security is up to date ? chemist shops are always vulnerable, and police conduct patrols around these areas, but we're looking at other ways and means of assisting pharmacies to deter these thieves,'' he said.

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