AP NEWS

Legislators advance tougher penalties for pharmacy break-ins

March 19, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some North Carolina lawmakers want more severe punishments for breaking into a building to steal drugs from a pharmacy.

The state Senate voted Monday evening to create a new crime of breaking or entering into a pharmacy with the intent to steal controlled substances. Supporters say it’s needed to deter opioid abuse by taking on criminal operations that steal pain medications.

The proposed crime in the legislation would result in potentially more time behind bars, although a floor amendment prevents active prison time from being automatic with a conviction.

The bill — now heading to the House following a 40-4 Senate vote — also creates another new felony for someone to possess controlled substances the person knows was stolen from a pharmacy.