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Over-the-counter medicine thefts increasing


Focus on Trend of Stealing Cold Medications Used to Make Methamphetamine


In early March, PoliceOne featured an article titled, "Meth Lab Indicators and Officer Safety." In that piece, we referred to an abundance of over-the-counter medications as one of the key indicators that can alert you to the fact that you may be in the midst of a lab setting. The following article serves as solid confirmation of the on-going role that over-the-counter cold medicines continue to play in the world of Meth brewing. It also serves as a reminder of three additional points:

1. If in the process of a vehicle stop you notice a stockpile of cold medications, take immediate caution. You may be dealing with a mobile Meth lab driven by a potentially volatile user.

2. Take careful note of reports of stolen cold medicine from local stores and avoid falling prey to labeling these low-level crimes as cut-and-dried cases of petty theft. Dig a bit harder than usual into these kinds of cases and you might surface Meth manufacturers in your area.

3. Make sure that local merchants and store managers know of this new theft trend and appeal to them to alert you quickly if a noticeable cold medicine theft occurs. Also consider suggesting that they keep a close eye on the area of their store where cold medicines are sold and, if feasible, consider moving these specific products to a controlled area.

-- Scott Buhrmaster,
Contributing Editor


Over-The-Counter Medicine Thefts Increasing
By Charlie Bier, The Houston Chronicle

A Conroe, Texas woman was arrested April 16 at the Wal-Mart after stealing over-the-counter medication. More than likely, a runny nose or hacking cough wasn't the itch she was looking to scratch.

Theft of over-the-counter cold medicines, sometimes as much as a drug store's entire stock, has become a burgeoning trend.

Law enforcement officials said, more than likely, a runny nose or hacking cough wasn't the itch she was looking to scratch.



METH LAB SEIZURES IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Related PoliceOne Report:
Meth Lab Indicators and Officer Safety

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