Two Maryland Men Charged in Pharmaceutical Theft

A Maryland man and his getaway driver were arrested just 10 hours after they allegedly committed a pharmaceutical theft.

John Collins Jr., 19, allegedly committed a robbery with a loaded gun at the Darlington Pharmacy in Darlington, Maryland, according to Maryland State Police, reports The Aegis. Collins, of Port Deposit, Maryland, reportedly took more than 100 bottles of prescription medication from the pharmacy.

During the robbery, Collins allegedly ordered a 29-year-old Port Deposit woman and an 18-year-old Conowingo, Maryland, woman to fill a bag with the drugs and money from the cash register, say police.

He then allegedly walked the women into the bathroom and left. According to police, Collins was then picked up in a black Mercedes-Benz vehicle, driven by 20-year-old Joshua Dietz, according to the state police.

The news source reports that witnesses recognized Collins. In addition, law enforcement officials were able to identify both Collins and Dietz from surveillance footage and a database that allows police to access information about items sold at precious metal dealers, salvage yards and pawnbrokers, reports the news source.

Police say they later found the alleged Mercedes used in the robbery and also searched a Conowingo home and found the bottles of the pilfered pills, in addition to the firearm suspected to have been used during the pharmaceutical theft.

Collins was arrested in an apartment in Perryville, Maryland, and Dietz was taken into custody at his grandparents' home near Port Deposit, according to police.

Collins is now facing a slew of charges including two counts of armed robbery, two counts of first-degree assault, theft between $10,000 and $100,000, possession of a drug other than marijuana and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Dietz is being charged with two counts of armed robbery and theft between $10,000 and $100,000, according to the news source.

The theft of pharmaceuticals can pose a number of threats. Often times criminals dilute stolen drugs with other substances. This process can make the drugs merely ineffective, but could also make them toxic. Even if the thieves do not tamper with the drugs it is rare that they will store and handle them properly, which can decrease the medications' efficacy.