Natchez pharmacy burglarized

Published 1:04 am Saturday, February 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — When two men broke into Bill Ernst’s pharmacy, they appeared to have only two things on their minds — get drugs, and get out.

“They just busted out the glass and walked through the door,” Ernst said.

Ernst Pharmacy was burglarized just before 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

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Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Maj. Jody Waldrop said the two men used what looked like a pipe to break out the glass on the door.

Waldrop knows how the two men gained entry to the pharmacy because Ernst’s son had the entire place wired with security cameras.

The alarm, also installed by Ernst’s son, notified the sheriff’s office of the break-in and deputies were able to respond within approximately four minutes, Waldrop said.

And while deputies were able to respond quickly, they were not quick enough.

Waldrop said he estimates the burglars were in the store for less that one minute.

“They were in and out,” he said.

And while the two men were acting quickly they also made the most of their time in the store.

Ernst said the two men knew what they were looking for.

“They walked right to what they wanted,” he said.

Hydrocodone and cough syrup containing codeine were the only items reported stolen.

“They just wanted the drugs,” he said.

Ernst said he would need to do an inventory of the store’s supply to determine exactly how many pills had been stolen.

However, he estimated that the number would be well over 100.

In terms of dollars, the pharmacy pays very little per pill, but on the black market their price is greatly inflated.

Waldrop said the same pills on the street will sell for between 5 to $10 a piece.

And while Waldrop said the surveillance video will help the investigation, he also said he hopes the large influx of pills on the street will also be noticed.

“It’s bound to get someone’s attention,” he said.

Ernst said he was not surprised when he received the early morning phone call telling him his business had been burglarized.

He said the same thing happened last year but the criminals were unable to break the glass.

After that attempt Ernst said the shatterproof glass was replaced with a different type of glass — apparently one more breakable.

But Ernst has a plan.

“We are going to get some type of glass that can take a beating,” he said. “And probably some more cameras.”