NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Hours after police released surveillance video of a man wanted for the latest drug store robbery on Long Island, they made an arrest.

Now, pharmacists say they’re taking precautions to protect their stores, their staff and their customers, reports CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

Police said 22-year-old Patrick O’Donnell is the latest face in the painkiller prescription plague ravishing Long Island. O’Donnell is denying he had anything to do with it.

Detectives said O’Donnell was caught on tape robbing the Farmingville CVS, as well as scouting out nearby drug stores earlier in the day in a search to get his fix.

“I think the 21st century gateway drug to more serious problems is the synthetic opiates we have today,” Suffolk County Police Inspector Robert Oswald said. “In the old days, it used to be marijuana. Now, it’s this.”

“It’s horrible,” Joanne Hoffman Beechko, president of the Long Island Pharmacists Society, said. “The point is no one wants to come to work and have to worry about their life.”

In the wake of the Haven Drugs massacre and the proliferation of pharmacy robberies, experts convened a drug summit with the goal of communicating a united message – that they must act together to stop the scourge.

The Pharmacy Society of the State of New York is demanding legislation “with teeth” to prevent addicts from doctor-shopping, and hopes to alert familes about another growing trend: grandchildren stealing grandparents’ painkillers.

The suspect arraigned in the CVS robberty – Patrick D’Donnell, of Ronkonkoma – pleaded not guilty.

Jennifer McLogan


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