STOCKTON (CBS13) — Suspects are targeting pharmacies across Stockton looking for cough syrup laced with codeine in a series of robberies and break-ins.
Calmont Pharmacy manager Mike Nihad says two robbers rushed in with guns drawn, ordering a customer and staff to hit the ground. Less than a minute later, they left with cash and drugs.
Since then, they’ve beefed up security, hiring an armed security guard.
The incident marks one of at least six brazen pharmacy robberies in the past six months in Stockton. The Dameron Hospital and Charter Way pharmacies have been hit twice. Each time, robbers were looking for codeine-laced cough syrup.
YouTube videos show some looking to get high mixing promethazine as a cocktail.
The Charter Way Pharmacy said they won’t stock some medications with promethazine.
Stockton Police officer Joe Silva says while they aren’t saying the cases are connected, the descriptions and the modus operandi have been very similar. They believe the suspects are both selling and using the drugs.
In all of the cases so far, police say victims have survived without major injuries, but they’re concerned the robberies could become more violent.