Fake pill bottles to track NY drug thefts

Jan. 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Bottles containing tracking devices will be used by New York City police to deter pharmacy robberies in which thousands of pills have been taken, officials say.

The decoy bottles are in response to an upsurge of drug store robberies and burglaries over the past five years that have sometimes resulted in the deaths of store employees, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The fake medicine bottles appear to contain the painkiller oxycodone, but actually have a global positioning system device inside, a police spokesman said. The bottles have no actual pills but are weighted and will rattle when shaken to give the impression of containing the narcotic.

"We would anticipate the burglar and robber will take numerous bottles, and among them will be the bait bottle," said department spokesman Paul J. Browne.

The GPS device is triggered when the fake bottle is lifted from the shelf.

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