A time delay safe at a Walgreens pharmacy. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)
Jeremy Sutherburg (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)
A sign informing customers about the time delay safe. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)
The 24 hour Walgreens at Hurstbourne Parkway and Shelbyville Road. (Source: Doug Druschke, WAVE 3 News)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Trying to put an end to robberies at their pharmacies, Walgreens started using time-delayed safes in all of its Kentucky and Indiana stores this week. The safes hold the prescription drugs that are most often the target of thieves.
When a pharmacist has to fill a prescription for one of these drugs, he or she would activate the safe and have to wait several minutes for it to be able to open. Once closed, the process starts again.
"That gives us more time to get them on video, to get good video pictures of them that we provide to the police, it also allows more time for the police to respond," said Jeremy Sutherburg, Walgreens District Loss Prevention Manager for Louisville.
Sutherburg said the safes are similar to ones that are already in use in banks and check cashing businesses, but the company is not aware of any other retailers using it for this purpose.
"I'm pretty positive now that we're doing it and the success that we've seen, other retailers are definitely going to start adapting it."
Sutherburg said the company started a pilot program using the safes in Colorado and has since installed them in several states, including Ohio and Tennessee. He says robberies have gone down 75-90% in stores that have the safes.
Signs in the pharmacy and soon at the front of the stores in Kentucky and Indiana will warn potential thieves that the safes are in use. Sutherburg says Walgreens intention is to tilt the risk-reward factor.
"What this is doing is taking that risk to reward and it's leaning it toward the risk side," he said.