RCMP investigate theft of narcotics from Valley Pharmasave
By Jaymie L. White
Special to Wreckhouse Press
DOYLES – The Channel-Port Aux Basques RCMP is currently investigating a break, enter, and theft that occurred at the Valley Pharmasave in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2022.
On Mar. 9, the RCMP released the following statement:
“On Tuesday morning police received the report of the break and enter and attended the scene. Suspect(s) entered the Western Health building, adjacent to the pharmacy, broke through a wall between the two properties and entered into the pharmacy. Various narcotics were stolen and both properties were significantly damaged. Surveillance footage obtained shows one individual inside the pharmacy.”
Craig Walters, owner of Valley Pharmasave, said the break-in was first noticed when a worker came in for their shift.
“They actually broke in through the clinic first and then went through the wall between the clinic and the pharmacy. One of the workers arrived in the morning for work and noticed that the doors were unlocked and the window was busted open. They came through the window and then went into the public bathroom there, cut a hole through the wall and got into the pharmacy that way. The worker notified the police who then notified me.”
Walters said the video displays the incorrect date and time, but estimates that the break-in happened in the early morning hours.
“We are estimating somewhere around 5:40 in the morning. The date and the time on the video is off, but when we calculated it up it is around 5:40. When they gave us permission to clean up and everything, that’s when I posted the video. I didn’t post the video until they finished up what they needed to do.”
Walters said the security cameras have always been installed in compliance with pharmacy standards. Cameras are required to be in place in the dispensary, and they have cameras overlooking the narcotics, which is what was taken in the robbery.
Walters uploaded security video footage to Facebook in an attempt to get public input and support to help find the perpetrator(s).
“I feel very confident actually. I’ve received a number of names and the same names keep popping up from different people. We are pretty sure there are at least two individuals. We could hear them talking back and forth on the video”
Walters said the insurance company has to be contacted as well as Health Canada and the Newfoundland Pharmacy Board about the break-in, a process he is familiar with as this is not the first time he has gone through such a situation.
“This is the first time at the pharmacy, but when I was building my house in the Codroy Valley somebody broke in up there and stole about $10,000 worth of tools at the time. So this is not a new experience for me. Obviously it was quite a shock being the second time – well really third time that I’ve been broken into now. It’s one of those things that you get more angry about than you are shocked. You get angry and part of me wants to take things into my own hands. I won’t do that, but it makes you angry and makes you want to react, but you have to hand it over to the authorities and let the proper procedures take place.”
Walters said the detachment concluded their assessment at Valley Pharmasave and left with evidence they collected as well as the video evidence he provided. From what he understands, this is the only recent break-in for the area.
“When it happened with my house that time, I think there were a couple of break-ins at that time, and there were a couple of individuals that got caught on camera doing stuff for awhile, but this one here, I haven’t heard anything lately of any break-ins in the area or anything like that, so it seems like just a one-off.”
Valley Pharmasave was open as normal later that same day, and the health clinic reopened the following day. Work on repairs to the property damage that took place were underway quite quickly.
“We’ve got that remedied pretty much already because I’ve got a construction crew from Port Aux Basques that came up. Once the police gave the go ahead to clean up and patch it up we got it pretty much back to normal.”
Walters said he hopes to see the individual(s) caught before something like this happens to someone else.
“Things like this affects the whole community. It might be my store today, but it could be someone else’s store tomorrow. I hope people watch the video and will step forward. I just pray to God that we get these people for the peace of mind of everybody.”