New Year’s break-in at oldest pharmacy

The pharmacy underwent numerous repairs after the burglary. Photo Lungi Ndimande


“It seems like crime just does not stop; these thugs are always busy,” said Jacob Tshabalala manager of the Mark Herson Pharmacy.

The pharmacy was cleaned after burglars had allegedly broken a window and disabled the alarm to gain access to the premises. Tshabalala said they completely wrecked the place. “They also found and removed the CCTV monitor box so that no footage of them could be found,” he said.

The window that was used to gain access to the premises. Photo Lungi Ndimande

About R26 000 in cash was taken from the cash registers, as well as computers and medicine such as anti-retroviral drugs, painkillers, skin lighting creams and other medication to the value of R254 000. Most of the medication that was taken can allegedly be used to manufacture hardcore drugs.“I had to close the pharmacy for two days after the break-in. There was almost no stock left and a lot of repairs had to be done,” Tshabalala said. “Medication had to be ordered again to replace the lost stock. This is a huge loss to the pharmacy and it will take months to recover from it.”

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According to Tshabalala a few customers indicated that some of the creams, similar to the ones that had been stolen, were being sold under a bridge in the CBD. “I don’t know if it is true, but I hope the police apprehend these thugs,” he said.Roodepoort Police spokesperson, Capt Nonhlanhla Khumalo said, “A burglary case has been opened. The suspects are unknown. The fingerprints were sent to forensics to see if there is a match. The case is still under investigation.”The pharmacy was established in 1950, which makes it the very first pharmacy in Roodepoort. This is however, the first time a burglary occurred there.

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Lungi Ndimande

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