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All Walgreens pharmacies in Arizona will store certain prescription painkillers, including products containing oxycodone, in time-delayed safes. The new policy comes in response to a spike in prescription drug robberies.

“Just over the last few years we’re reporting these kinds of robberies every day, you’re hearing about it every day,” Phoenix Police Officer James Holmes told

Keeping the drugs in a time-delayed safe will limit the immediate availability of the drugs, and increase the chance robbers will be caught, the article notes. If a robber demands the drugs, a pharmacist can turn a key to the safe, but will not be able to control how long it takes for the cabinet of drugs to unlock. According to the article, Walgreens said the safes have been used successfully in five other states, reducing robberies by 84 percent.

“We hope the time delay aspect of the safe will give law enforcement time to respond to our stores accordingly and apprehend an individual who is engaged in the robbing of our pharmacy,” said Michael Mirand, a regional loss prevention manager for the drug chain.

Officer Holmes said that while there is a chance a frustrated suspect could get violent with store personnel, generally that has not been the experience of other businesses using the safes.

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