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Shoppers Drug Mart to use narcotic safes in Ontario amid rise in thefts

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Three Shoppers Drug Marts in the Kingston and Belleville regions are offering asymptomatic testing for COVID-19. Global Kingston

Shoppers Drug Mart says it will be rolling out time-delayed narcotic safes in all of its stores and in Loblaw pharmacies across Ontario.

Dean Henrico, senior vice president of asset production at Loblaws Companies Ltd., said the safes are already mandated in other provinces and are a “proven deterrent in the reduction of narcotic thefts.”

“This is another step we are taking to help protect our employees, our customers and our communities,” Henrico said in a news release.

Read more: Toronto Public Health issues alert amid spike in suspected overdose deaths

Toronto police Insp. Rich Harris said the force has been responding to an “increasing number of pharmacy robberies this year,” adding that there have been more than 110 in 2022, compared to 49 in 2021.

“We welcome any measure, including the use of timed safes, to deter these robberies and to better protect employees and customers from these senseless acts of violence,” Harris said in a statement.

Shoppers Drug Mart said the safes are just one way Loblaw has “enhanced security measures” at stores, including using technology that helps identify suspects who commit criminal acts as well as “overt and covert security resources.”

Time-delayed safes open after a set amount of time when the safe is unlocked rather than right away, a deterrent to thieves looking for a speedy getaway.

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