Three Burglaries, One Suspect - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Three Burglaries, One Suspect

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A Plaucheville pharmacy has been burglarized repeatedly over the last several years, and now the police think the same person may be responsible for the break-ins.

They also tell us these types of crimes are on the rise. Police say this kind of theft is part of a national drug-trafficking issue.

Police say this burglar stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of items over a series of thefts. He came in a different way each time, but now, police say, they believe he's finally ended up where he should be--in jail. @

Scallan's Pharmacy has been serving the Plaucheville community for 14 year, and Patty Scallan has been the operator and sole owner for the last nine.

Scallan says, "This store is needed here. The people need it."

But Patty has a problem. 

Scallan: "They took literally everything."

Her pharmacy has been burglarized three times since 2008, and police suspect the same man for each incident.

The man, Justin Lawson, was arrested and charged for the burglaries in 2008 and last month's break-in. Now he's the subject of the investigation in a 2010 burglary, too.

In 2008, Patty says the thief came in through the back.

Scallan: "He jumped up on here, then went through the vent."

in 2010, she says he came in through the front.

and just last month, he tried to come in through the floor.

Scallan: "I noticed something under my feet, and I look down and I saw earth. And I looked closer and you could see the tools."

Bunkie Police Detective Chad Jeansonne is heading up the investigation, and he says these pharmacy burglaries are no surprise. He says they're part of a national rise in pharmaceutical drug trafficking.

Jeansonne: "Perhaps it speaks to the arrogance of the crime. And on a national level, the problem that law enforcement today faces with drug diversion investigations and burglary of pharmacies."

And as for Lawson...

Jeansonne: "The sheer volition, the suspect wanting to get into the pharmacy so bad and targeting one over and over."

But Patty Scallan says there's another issue, too. Police protection.

Scallan: "This town is five businesses. It should be easy to watch."

The Plaucheville Police Department is listening and making changes.

Chief Reggie Sanders: "We now have 24/7 patrol."

So for now, Scallan and her pharmacy are installing more security features, like cellular network alarm systems and cameras.

But if it keeps getting worse…

Scallan: "One more time and I'm out. You can't keep taking hits like that."

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