Thieves bungle pharmacy robbery

TWO thieves have escaped with nothing but empty boxes and the wrong cold and flu tablets in a daring daylight theft at a Banora Point pharmacy yesterday.

More than 12 boxes of pseudoephedrine-free drugs were taken from the United Discount Chemist at Banora Shopping Village on Leisure Drive at about 3.20pm.

The two male thieves calmly entered the store wearing hoodies, sunglasses and gloves and walked behind the counter before filling a striped nylon bag with empty pseudoephedrine containers.

They then turned their attention to what they believed to be pseudoephedrine-based cold and flu tablets.

These medications have recently been targeted by thieves who use it for the manufacture of illegal drugs, including methylamphetamine because of their common-ingredient pseudoephedrine.

Chemist manager Jenny Lippe said the thieves made off with the wrong medication.

"They just walked in and came in behind the counter. They never threatened or spoke to us," Ms Lippe said.

"It took them only four minutes to get in and get out."

The thieves picked cold and flu tablets which contain phenylephrine instead of pseudoephedrine.

"They're different things. Phenylephrine cannot be broken down for amphetamines," Ms Lippe said.

"It's worthless for what they want it for."

Ms Lippe said everyone in the store at the time, including three customers and more than eight employees, were fine.

"Some of them were a bit shaken up but that's understandable."

The thieves tried once to bash the cash register open before making their escape.

Tweed Heads police senior constable Luke Catt said they believed the men involved in the Banora Point robbery proceeded to rob another pharmacy in%Nerang just hours later.

"We found a car believed to be connected to the robbery not far from the Banora Point scene," Snr Const Catt said.

"We're checking it for any prints. It's not yet known if the car was stolen or not."

Police will also inspect closed-circuit television footage from the store in the hopes of identifying the culprits.

The Banora Point pharmacy was previously targeted in April when it was ram-raided after- hours. One of the store's front windows was smashed three weeks ago, although no-one gained entry.



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