Two men believed to be in their early 20s stole more than 600 painkillers from a Foggy Bottom drug store Sunday evening, according to a Metropolitan Police Department report.
The suspects took 642 hydrocodone pills from the CVS on 21st and E streets, according to the report. Hydrocodone, which is sold as a prescription pain reliever and cough suppressant, is the main ingredient in other drugs such as Vicodin.
A store employee reported seeing one man behind the pharmacy counter at about 9:45 p.m., after the pharmacy had closed. She escorted him out, but he re-entered the area through another door when she turned her back, according to the police report. The second man acted as a lookout, University Police Chief Dolores Stafford said. It is unknown how the suspect initially entered the area, though MPD is reviewing surveillance video of the store.
The first suspect concealed three pill bottles of generic hyrdocodone in his jacket and left the store with the second man, according to the report. Both were described as white males wearing shorts and blue jackets.
MPD took fingerprints from the scene and advised CVS to report the theft to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the report states. Barbara Wetherell, a spokeswoman for the DEA, said that although her office does not comment on investigations, CVS is required to register the hydrocodone with the DEA as part of the Controlled Substances Act. Both the manager of the store and the director of public relations for CVS declined to comment.
Hydrocodone is the most abused prescription drug by teenagers, Wetherell said, adding that the number of stolen pills was not indicative of motive.
“It could be for personal use or it could be for reselling,” Wetherell said. “There is a big demand among teens and young adults.”
No arrests have been made so far, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.
This article appeared in the April 9, 2009 issue of the Hatchet.