Armed robbery at Paterson pharmacy caught on video; 3rd drugstore targeted since December

CeFaan Kim Image
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Pharmacies on high alert after rash of armed robberies in Paterson
Since December, there have been several armed robberies at three different pharmacies in Paterson, New Jersey. CeFaan Kim has more.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Imagine needing to be buzzed into your local pharmacy to pick up your prescription.

That's the reality for costumers at Mort Jacobs Pharmacy in Paterson, after the store had five dangerous incidents over the course of a year.

At 4 a.m. on Wednesday, thieves smashed through the front glass door of the pharmacy.

Last year, there were two other break-ins and two armed robberies.

Mort Jacobs Pharmacy is not alone in these attacks. Other Paterson pharmacies have been targeted.

Antonio Rodriguez, the owner of Tony's Pharmacy, says they have had three armed robberies in the past year.

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A 15-year-old boy with special needs is staying home from school recovering after being beaten up on Friday.

In June, one suspect stole two bottles of cough medicine. In December, $300 worth of drugs were stolen. And Friday, Rodriguez believes, the same person came in with a partner.

Surveillance video caught the moment when one of the suspects fired a shot, and the other raided the narcotics drawer.

After the second robbery, Rodriguez had installed a lock on his gate, but on Friday, the thieves fired one round at the ceiling, and demanded the gate be unlocked.

In total, they took a couple hundred dollars in cash, along with Percocet and OxyContin.

On top of these robberies, security footage also caught the moment three suspects unsuccessfully tried to saw their way through the steel back door at Tony's Pharmacy.

"My family, everybody wants me to get out of the business," Rodriguez said. "My employees, unfortunately they need to work in order to pay for school bills, to be able to live. They're coming but they're coming to work nervous."

On Sunday, International Drugs Pharmacy was broken into, marking the third pharmacy to have been robbed in Paterson since December.

In a statement, Paterson's mayor said, "I am deeply concerned about the recent pharmacy robberies in our city, and I want to assure the community that we are taking this matter seriously. (We) welcome a community meeting to develop strategies to prevent future incidents."


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