Sledgehammer-wielding crooks target another Mid-South pharmacy

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Police responded to a second pharmaceutical drug theft in a five-mile area of Northeast Memphis where they said the group of crooks used a sledgehammer to access the business.

Police also said the group of seven men parked on the side of Interstate 40 and used bolt cutters to get through the fence and access the nondescript brick building that serves as PharMerica's Memphis office.

The office is located in the Century Center Business Park.

Police said two of the seven men used a crow bar and sledgehammer to break the front door and then took just four minutes raid the narcotics inside. It happened around 3 a.m. last Wednesday.

Police said they got away with $15,000 worth of medications.

Shirley Bondon with the Aging Commission of the Mid-South said there are nearly 200,000 people over 60 living in Shelby County. A lot of them rely on drugs like those produced by PharMerica, since the company's website shows it mainly provides to nursing homes and hospitals.

“If nursing homes are relying on those pharmaceuticals they’ll have to find them somewhere else. If they can’t get them quickly, for the elderly it would be detrimental for their health,” Bondon said.

The break-in has a lot of similarities to another massive theft just two days earlier; police said a group of five men used a sledgehammer around 2 a.m. to get in to the Cordova Costco less than five miles away.

They took more than $20,000 worth of drugs, prompting addiction specialists to raise concern.

“We need tougher security in transit when these drugs are being moved and we need tougher security in pharmacies," Dr. Theodore Bender said.

Police have not responded to WREG's questions about if the incidents are connected.

PharMerica has not responded to our request for comment.