Rise In Drug Robberies Prompts GPS Tracking
On a cold December night in 2011, a man by the name of John Capano stopped at a local pharmacy to pick up some prescription medication for his father who was battling cancer. The Long Island man was a retired member of the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agency and had been no stranger to standing up against criminal activity. That is why it was no surprise that when he walked into the Long Island pharmacy to get his father’s medication and noticed a man wielding a firearm attempting to rob that pharmacy for prescription drugs he stepped in to intervene. What happened next was a series of unfortunate events that left Capano dead as well as the gunman.
Only a couple months after the incident that took the life of Capano, a prescription pill addict by the name of David Laffer shot and killed four people during a botched pharmacy robbery in the same Long Island area. Two customers doing some shopping and two employees simply trying to earn money lost their lives over what essentially boils down to addiction. Laffer was later arrested and is now serving a life sentence behind bars.
A short time later in April a couple of armed men rushed into a pharmacy in the East Harlem area in search of the potent painkillers OxyContin and Percocet. After a brief standoff with police agents, the one suspect gave himself up to authorities. His partner in crime, on the other hand, fired his weapon at police and tried to escape but was later shot and killed by an officer who was fueling his vehicle at a nearby gas station.
Sadly, pharmacy drug robberies have increased sharply over the past decade as more and more people are becoming dependent on powerful narcotics such as OxyContin. Now in an attempt to save innocent lives while still bringing the criminals involved in these drug robberies to justice, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has developed a new plan. What this plan consists of is the use of bait bottles equipped with real-time GPS tracking devices to catch pharmacy robbers after they have left the store they targeted. When questioned about this new program, Kelly explained that if a pharmacy robbery occurred police would be able to not only determine where the suspects are but also where different stash locations and drug houses are throughout the city. Kelly also stated he has a vision where sometime in the near future that police will work together with GPS monitoring system manufacturers to create some form of nano-type technology device of a real-time tracker device the size of a prescription pill to be used as a bait pill!
As part of the new “Operation Safety Cap” program that uses bait bottles with tracker devices, police will develop a computer database filled with thousands of pharmacists working in the New York City area. Police will also visit local pharmacies throughout New York to provide information about alarm systems and other security improvements that help those pharmacies from being targeted by drug thieves.
The use of live GPS systems as bait bottles is one part of the plan designed to help reduce pharmacy drug robberies. The other part is a proactive approach that involves police working hands-on with the Department of Education to inform kids in high school about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. By talking with kids and sharing the stats and facts with them the police are hoping to see a drop in prescription drug abuse, a problem that has increased in suburban and rural regions. With this two-part attack method, police are hoping that tragedies like the one that occurred to John Capano never have to occur again in the future.
News Source: NY Daily News