Suffolk police train pharmacists to prevent heists

BRENTWOOD - Suffolk police held a summit today to educate pharmacists and their employees about how to stop drug store robberies amid a prescription drug epidemic.

During the summit, officers told the participants how to detect signs of drug abuse and what to do when they're faced with gun-toting robbers who are willing to kill anyone in order to get their hands on painkillers.

The pharmacists in the audience were advised to comply with the suspects, but make sure to have a high-tech camera system and alarm inside the store. Most importantly, police emphasized the importance of being a good witness.

In recent years, pharmacy store robberies have turned violent and deadly, and they're continuing to happen in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.

In December of 2011, off-duty federal agent John Capano was killed at a pharmacy in Seaford. Last Father's Day, four people were shot to death by armed robber David Laffer at Haven Drugs in Medford.

"Everyone is scared and everyone is alarmed about unpredictability of how people who are addicted to these drugs would act, and the desperation associated with it," says officer James Cerrone, of the Suffolk County Police Department.

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