Thieves use sledge hammer to break into pharmacy

April 15, 2011 4:17:43 PM PDT
We're learning more about an attempted smash-and-grab at a pharmacy in Bellaire. Police have arrested two men, accused of using a sledge hammer to break into the business.

The concrete wall that was broken through is in the Bellaire area, and from what police found in the suspect's car, this pharmacy was just one of many they planned to hit.

New cinder blocks and fresh mortar are patching a hole in a strip center wall that would-be thieves had hoped to use to steal countless prescriptions from an adjacent pharmacy.

Neighboring business owners are not surprised by the blunt entry.

"Crack heads will do anything, man," said Asim Muhammed, who works near the targeted pharmacy.

Police believe a sledge hammer was used at about 2am this morning. When they entered the vacant business, they began breaking through drywall leading into the pharmacy, but were scared off by an alarm.

And when the Bellaire Police Department tried to pull over a sedan for a traffic violation, a brief chase began before four suspects later jumped out.

When the driver was arrested, police say he seemed to be covered in evidence.

"The driver, when he was taken into custody, actually had a lot of cement dust on him, where they were breaking into the wall," Bellaire Police Department Lt. Michael Leal.

Another suspect was also arrested. Investigators are now processing the car for evidence and already discovered all the tools need to break through a wall.

"Like a sledge hammer. A lot of equipment -- crowbars, some hand tools that they had in backpacks; also found were masks and gloves," Leal said.

Police also discovered inside the sedan a list of pharmacies around Houston.

"We do know that the pharmacy that was targeted was listed on that list," Leal said.

The owner of the pharmacy says she's glad her alarm did its job, but is trying to figure out why her pharmacy was on a hit list.

"You guys are the first people to tell me. I guess I need to call the police to know what is going on," she said.

Authorities are still investigating and also checking that list to see if any of those other pharmacies have already been hit.


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