Rep. Justin Moed’s bipartisan effort to curb pharmacy robberies advances
INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis) has led the push for increased security measures to crack down on criminals robbing pharmacies for narcotics.
Currently, Indianapolis and Indiana are leading the nation in this particular type of crime, which is aggravating the drug addiction epidemic.
On February 14, Moed’s hard work paid off when members of the House passed legislation he co-authored that seeks to increase the penalties for those who rob a pharmacy to steal narcotics.
House Bill 1312 seeks to raise that punishment for robbing a pharmacy for drugs to a Level 4 Felony. It will also increase the punishment for use of a deadly weapon or causing bodily injury during a pharmacy robbery for narcotics to a Level 2 Felony.
In addition, this legislation will raise the punishment for causing serious bodily injury during a pharmacy robbery for narcotics to a Level 1 Felony.
“House Bill 1312 will give local prosecutors more tools to hold criminals accountable when they rob a pharmacy for narcotics,” said Moed. “This penalty enhancement is important because these criminals aren’t robbing a store for a pack of gum. This is an organized crime operation where criminals are stealing thousands of pain pills and turning around and selling them in the drug market.
“While this bill is not a silver bullet to end these types of crimes,” Moed added. “Our hope is that this sends a clear message to folks who are interested in robbing a pharmacy as a part of a drug operation; you will serve time.”
Moed believes pharmacies should be more proactive and take steps inside their stores to prevent and deter people from robbing them.
This is not the only legislation authored by Moed this session that seeks to increase the level of safety in pharmacies and reduce robberies.
House Bill 1377 requires a holder of a retail pharmacy permit to install a time-delay safe to secure certain drugs and an emergency call button to 911 for increased security.
He has also co-authored House Bill 1543, which would develop an Enhanced Pharmacy Security Grant Fund that will offer grants to pharmacies in high-risk areas that want to upgrade security in their store.
Both bills are awaiting a hearing in committee.
House Bill 1312 passed with a vote of 58 to 38 and is now moving to the Senate for further consideration.