Pharmacists scared and frustrated after string of Calgary robberies

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WATCH: The Calgary Police Service is investigating a robbery at a pharmacy in Hawkwood on Tuesday afternoon. As Jenna Freeman reports, it's one of dozens of similar incidents in recent months which have left pharmacists feeling scared and frustrated – Feb 3, 2021

In recent months several pharmacists in Calgary have been the targets of thieves.

Tariq Fareeby, who owns and manages two Calgary Drug Mart locations, said he was robbed by someone who came into his Garrison location with a gun.

Fareeby said that he was alarmed when a man came to the dispensary area of the pharmacy and demanded cough syrup and narcotics.

Staff Sgt. Kurt Jacobs with the Calgary Police Service said that last week alone there were several more pharmacy robberies reported and are working to see if they are linked.

“These individuals are violent; they have very little regard for the safety of the public,” Jacobs explained.

Read more: 21 Calgary pharmacies robbed since September: police

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He said that police are trying to determine what the narcotics are being used for and there is concern that it is being distributed and mixed with other drugs.

“It’s a scary thing to be buying or taking something where you don’t really know where it came from.”

On Tuesday, Calgary police confirmed officers responded to another robbery at the Medicine Shoppe in Hawkwood.

The pharmacist told Global News that she and three of her colleagues were confronted by the offenders, had their hands tied, and were told to lay face down on the ground.

She said that the thieves continuously made demands for codeine, which the pharmacy doesn’t carry.

Calgary police confirmed officers were called to that pharmacy Tuesday just after 1:30 p.m. and that the investigation was ongoing.

According to Calgary police, in 2019 there was one commercial robbery targeted at a pharmacy whereas from September 2019 to date, there have been 37 at local pharmacies.

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