Thursday, April 18, 2024

Burglar breaks into local pharmacy

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The unidentified burglar smashed through the pharmacy’s front entrance with the base of a vaccination flag.

Police are searching for a man who broke into an east Auckland pharmacy and stole cash and valuable items.

At 6.04am on Thursday March 17, a man used the base of a Covid-19 vaccination flag to break through the front door glass entrance into Unichem Pakuranga on Cortina Place, triggering the alarm system.

In footage seen by the Times, the man, wearing gloves, a mask and a hoodie, carried a cardboard box behind the counter of the pharmacy’s reception. He loaded valuable stock into the box, including blood pressure monitors and infrared thermometers.

He then took two tills. About 40 forty seconds later he exited the pharmacy with the items and tills.

It wasn’t until Unichem Pakuranga’s centre manager, Vicky Chan, thought to

re-watch the video recordings did she realise the man returned.

“Something wasn’t quite right,” Chan says. “There was more.”

About a minute later, the man came back into the pharmacy and attempted to open some drawers. He then tried to get into the safe with a set of old keys and a hammer and small crowbar. Unsuccessful, he stole more items from the front area. He left at around 6.13am.

“He stole thousands worth of stock,” Chan says. “We have to replace everything – the signage, the door and look into a more secure front door system.”

When staff arrived at around 6.20am, they cleaned up the chaos left behind by the burglar.

This is their second break-in 18 months. “You feel so violated,” Chan says. “It’s quite an isolated location. I just feel so angry. The team has done so much. For that to happen, it feels unfair.”

A police spokesperson says the police were notified on Thursday night of a “burglary incident at a pharmacy in Pakuranga”.

“A number of items have been taken from the store. Police are actively making follow up enquiries to identify those responsible.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact police on 105, quoting file number 220317/6100 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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