Greeneville, Morristown pharmacy burglaries could be linked

Greeneville, Morristown pharmacy burglaries could be linked

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East Tennessee authorities believe two pharmacy burglaries may be linked and other crimes could be connected. East Tennessee authorities believe two pharmacy burglaries may be linked and other crimes could be connected.
"If you're in pharmacy long enough, if you've never been through a burglary or a robbery you're one of the lucky ones," Benjie Cox said. "If you're in pharmacy long enough, if you've never been through a burglary or a robbery you're one of the lucky ones," Benjie Cox said.
"I think there's no doubt in my mind they've been in that store at some time," explained Detective Lt. David Crum with Greeneville Police Department. "I think there's no doubt in my mind they've been in that store at some time," explained Detective Lt. David Crum with Greeneville Police Department.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

GREENEVILLE (WATE) - East Tennessee authorities believe two pharmacy burglaries may be linked and other crimes could be connected.

Two masked men robbed a Greeneville pharmacy Sunday morning, making away with buckets filled with prescription pain pills.

Greeneville police say the early morning burglary of Greene County Drugs is similar to a pharmacy burglary in Morristown earlier this summer.

Surveillance video shows exactly one minute goes by from the moment a masked man hops out of a vehicle to the moment two men flee the store.

"I think there's no doubt in my mind they've been in that store at some time," explained Det. Lt. David Crum, with Greeneville Police Department.

Det. Crum has been pouring over the surveillance tapes since Sunday's 6:30 a.m. burglary. He says there are clues that indicate these men know what they're doing.

"The smaller man, he came out with a much larger quantities and seemed to move with a confidence as he was inside the building," Crum said.

The thieves filled two tubs of prescription pills, mostly hydrocodone. Pharmacy owner Benjie Cox says the burglary unfortunately didn't surprise him.

"If you're in pharmacy long enough, if you've never been through a burglary or a robbery you're one of the lucky ones," Cox said.

A pharmacist since the late 70s, Cox says this isn't the first time someone's tried to steal from his business.

"When you've had a gun stuck between your eyes, you don't forget it," he said, recalling a robbery at his Memphis pharmacy in the early 80s.

He's thankful it happened when his pharmacy was closed.

The timing of the Greene County Drug burglary is also just like the one in Morristown on July 21. It happened a half hour before opening with the same car and same smash and grab technique.

"Very similar to Morristown and I think there are some other counties that may have had similar ones as well," Cox said.

Morristown police say they are looking into the similarities. They did not have surveillance video to release to the public, but the pharmacy's owner says the do have cameras in the store.

Greeneville Police Department hopes by releasing the tapes from the Greene County Drug burglary they might catch the suspects faster. 

Pharmacist Benjie Cox says installing surveillance cameras was the first thing he did when he opened his store 10 years ago.

"It's not just surveillance, but everything you can do to prevent it," Cox explained.  "And if it does happen, you do everything you can do to help police catch the guys."

Police say the car is a white Chrysler 300. The two men wore ski masks and gloves but are believed to be white men around 5-foot-9.

One suspect weighs about 190 pounds, the other approximately 250 pounds.

If you have any information on the Greeneville burglary call Greeneville police at (423) 639-7111.

If you have any information on the Morristown burglary call Morristown police at (423) 585-2710.

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