Among those targeted by looters over the weekend was a family-owned drugstore in downtown San Jose, California.
On Sunday night, security footage captured how a group of seven people forcibly entered and robbed Garcia Pharmacy.
The pharmacy, which is situated off East Santa Clara Street, services clinics, mental health and adult residential facilities, among others.
The burglars stole medication meant for hundreds of patients from across the Bay Area, Sacramento County, and south to Salinas. Where these prescription drugs might end up has since become a major concern, reports ABC7.
In the surveillance footage, the suspects were seen running towards the drugstore after throwing a tire iron through its glass storefront before 9 p.m.on Sunday.
James Wong, lead pharmacist and owner of the business, noted that the intruders managed to cause almost $300,000 in damage in the span of just two minutes.
Aside from stealing $50,000 worth of around 150 deliveries intended to be sent out to patients on Monday, the group also damaged equipment and tainted some of the medicines left behind with a fire extinguisher.
“The window was smashed and everything inside was just a mess,” Wong was quoted as saying. “They shot off the fire extinguisher all over the medication. So, I have to destroy those medications, it’s not sanitary.”
Wong says that he is now worried about the patients who will not have their treatment.
“One guy was actually taking the time to read the label and kind of knew what he wanted. The other individuals just seemed to grab everything they could,” he explained. “But they definitely came prepared. They threw a tire iron through the window, and they had duffel bags ready to take a lot of stuff. They cleared out all of our deliveries for Monday morning.”
He also warned against the potential harm of the medications falling into the wrong hands.
“It’s very dangerous. Some of these medications are controlled, some are non-controlled. Depending if they take it incorrectly, they’re going to hurt themselves,” he said. “They put it in the water supply, the water filtration can only do so much. It’s really, really dangerous.”
Wong noted that the COVID-19 crisis has already made it a challenge for them to get medications out on time but the protests have also affected shipments.
He further shared that while he hopes things do get better for the community, as he is for the protests, he thinks the looting only “hurts everyone.”
“I’m for the protest, but the looting’s got to stop,” he added.
Wong and his staff are currently busy assessing and documenting their losses. The shop, which remained closed as of Tuesday morning, may re-open on Wednesday, reported KTVU.
While the local authorities have been notified of the incident, investigative work on the case has yet to begin.
Feature Image via KTVU