Thieves target two pharmacies for codeine cough syrup

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Two Kansas City area pharmacies are cleaning up the damage after smash-and-grab burglars broke in and stole codeine cough syrup.

Spalitto's Pharmacy at Cleveland and Independence Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., was burglarized at 2:41 a.m. on April 18.

Albers Pharmacy, at 7201 E. 47th St., in Grandview, was robbed around 1 a.m. April 22 -- just four days after Spalitto's Pharmacy was hit.

At Spalitto's Pharmacy, police said the burglars rammed the back door of the pharmacy, climbed over the debris and walked into the pharmacy. 

Surveillance video showed the burglars walking directly to the codeine cough syrup and scooping all of the bottles into a plastic sack. 

Owner Pete Spalitto said he has decided not to sell any more codeine cough syrup. 

"I can't risk this happening again," said Spallito. "I had thousands of dollars in damage, but my main concern is that the burglars are selling this cough syrup two teenagers, and those teenagers could drink it and get sick, or even die, with codeine toxic poisoning."

He has added security railing outside to prevent another car from ramming into the building

At Albers Pharmacy, burglars used a van to break into the front door.

Co-owner Doug Call said he believes the same thieves hit both pharmacies or it's a copy-cat burglary.

"We are adding surveillance camera and concrete pillars," Call said.

If you know anything about either burglary, police are asking you to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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