DEA using billboards to track pharmacy thieves

June 26, 2015

The Drug Enforcement Administration is using billboards to post the faces of people suspected of looting dozens of pharmacies during Baltimore’s Freddie Gray riots in April.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is using billboards to post the faces of people suspected of looting dozens of pharmacies during Baltimore’s Freddie Gray riots in April.

During the riots, 27 pharmacies and two methadone clinics were looted and an estimated 300,000 doses of drugs were stolen, according to DEA officials.

Baltimore police attribute a recent surge in shootings and killings to the stolen drugs. "That amount of drugs has thrown off the balance on the streets of Baltimore," Baltimore police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts told the Baltimore Sun.

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Authorities have used surveillance tapes to pinpoint about 40 suspects. They are now appealing to the public to identify those suspects. Click here to see suspect photos.

“We’re trying to identify the people, number one, and number two, we’re trying to get some information of the people who could identify other people,” Sean Ellerman of the DEA toldCBS Baltimore. “We’re up to almost 288,000 doses…that have been stolen from pharmacies.”

 

Nearly 40% of the pharmacies looted have not tallied their losses. There’s also concern that information on prescription bottles could be used for identity theft.

Most of the billboards are along I-83 and I-95. Photos of 40 suspects rotate every other minute on the billboards. “Don’t think because we haven’t spoken to you now or brought you in now [that you’re safe],” Ellerman said. “It’s not going to happen.”