Cough syrup stolen from two area pharmacies

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KANSAS CITY -- Police are investigating the burglaries of two pharmacies, which happened in similar fashions and the same drugs were taken from each.

The first occurred on Independence Avenue in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday.  The second happened in Grandview on Monday at Albers Pharmacy.

Thieves rammed their vehicles into both the pharmacies to steal cough medicine.

Surveillance video from Spalitto's Pharmacy in Kansas City, Mo., shows two men ramming a stolen van into the side of the building.

The video shows the masked men going straight to the prescription-strength cough medicine made with codeine.

"The cough syrup is being sold to kids in high school as a drink to get high off of," said Pete Spalitto. "It's a recent thing called to my attention. The slang term officers used is 'lean.'"

In Grandview, police say thieves stole a Dodge and smashed it through the doors of Albers Pharmacy and got away with about $400 worth of cough syrup with codeine.

"It seems like a lot of trouble for cheap RX medication that helps you go to sleep," said Douglas Call, another pharmacist.

Grandview Police say they're not sure if the cases are connected.

Spalitto said if parents see their kids with purple-colored cough syrup, they need to ask some tough questions.

"Some young people's children are going to get hurt and maybe die of a codeine intoxication," Spalitto said.

If you know of someone selling a purple-like cough syrup, you're asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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