Pharmacy drugs stolen in delivery van heist

August 26, 2011 3:23:11 PM PDT
Houston police are on the lookout for a van -- but not just any van -- a van that they say carried possibly a million dollars worth of prescription drugs inside. The van was stolen outside a pharmacy on Bellaire around lunchtime Friday.

Despite burglar bars on the windows, the robbery took place in the parking lot. The delivery truck driver doubts there was a million dollars worth of merchandise, since some of their cargo included band-aids. But there were certainly prescription drugs in the shipment, and now they are out on the streets.

Police cars instead of customers at lunchtime fill the pharmacy parking lot. Missing is a large gray unmarked delivery van that was carrying pharmaceutical supplies and prescription drugs to the Sterling Pharmacy. The driver was robbed as she got out of the truck.

Too frightened to speak to Eyewitness News, her best friend spoke on her behalf.

Jan Lightfoot said, "She could have been killed, because the gunman was nervous, the way she described it, shaking kind of at her side."

Delivery vans have been hijacked in the past, enough to make the Walker brothers careful about the pharmacies to which they deliver. This one, coupled with the midday delivery time, seemed low risk.

James Walker, delivery service co-owner said, "I wouldn't say an uptick but it is always a possibility something like this can happen. We try to be pretty conscientious of where we're at and where we're delivering, but these guys just caught her by surprise."

The robber drove off in the stolen van with all it contained -- everything from bandages to aspirin to prescription medicine. Some of that medicine was for pain management, which is a black market commodity. On this day, it proves how dangerous a delivery job can be.

"Any time you're delivering pharmaceuticals to the hospitals, to the pharmacies, you've got to be really careful, really leery because there are people out there who want that stuff," Walker said.

The description of the gunman is somewhat vague. We're told he was wearing a hoodie at the time of the crime and it partially obscured his face. He was last seen in that delivery van. Houston police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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