Thieves hit three pharmacies across Shelby County within hours

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- Thieves targeted three pharmacies within hours and swiped thousands of dollars worth of highly addictive pills.

Detectives don't know if the crimes are connected.

The Medicine Shoppe in East Memphis was targeted Thursday morning. Police said the crooks pried open the door and got away with several types of prescription pills.

"I work in this area all day," said Ryan Poe who was frustrated when he heard the news. "I've got doctors in my family, so I want to know they're protected and safe. There's just no telling the means people will go to to get the fix that they have."

That same morning, a trio of bold robbers barged into the Bartlett Prescription Shop on Stage.

Employees said they were forced on the ground at gunpoint as the crooks swiped pills and cough medicine.

Just hours before, deputies said thieves used a blow torch to get through the drive-through window and into the pharmacy at a Walgreens at East Shelby Drive and Hacks Cross.

Authorities said they are not surprised these crimes are happening.

They said there's a growing hunger for narcotic painkillers in the Mid-South, and its fueling robberies and thefts.

Since last fall, MPD reported on average two pharmacies hit every month.