In order to deter prescription drug abuse crimes at Walgreens, the company has added a new tool to its pharmacies — a time-delay safe. This month, Walgreens added the time-delay safes to all pharmacies in Kentucky and Indiana. The safes are already in use in nine additional states throughout the U.S.
According to Walgreens, in the states that use the safes, prescription drug abuse crimes have seen a real reduction. The time-delay safes are used in conjunction with numerous other security features, such as security cameras. Unlike a normal safe, these safes require more time to open, no matter who is attempting to access them. Although Walgreens is not saying how long, exactly, the safes require for opening, it’s long enough to make would-be burglars jumpy.
“Its a deterrent for the would-be criminals. They’re going to have to take on a lot more risk than they would before,” said Walgreens’ Loss Prevention Manager, Ashley Painter. Waiting around for the safe to open — with a process that can’t be sped up by anyone employed by the store — increases the likelihood that criminals will be apprehended by the police. “They want to be in and be out in order to get away from the police,” and not waiting around, explained Painter.
In addition to signage posted around stores warning criminals of prosecution, the time delay safe features a yellow and red warning sticker that says, “There is a waiting period before opening.” The store hopes that the technology will help keep pharmacists and customers safe by reducing the number of theft attempts.
“Time delay safe locks are a great option for any retail environment, in a break in or a robbery criminals have a very impatient agenda on their hands – anything that will slow that process down is a benefit for a companies’ assets,” says Neil Brunskill, RL andamp; CRL at A2Z Locksmith, LLC. “Thieves will not want to wait for a safe to open to risk getting caught.”
How big of an issue is prescription drug theft for pharmacies? As the value of stolen drugs steadily rises, more thieves are drawn to the high profit arena of prescription drugs, and millions of dollars of drugs are stolen every year.
Although the technology was crafted specifically for Walgreens, the company has said that it would be willing to share it with other interested pharmacies.
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