Arrests Made in LaFayette Pharmacy Break-ins - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Arrests Made in LaFayette Pharmacy Break-ins

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Randall McAbee Randall McAbee
Dakota Guthrie Dakota Guthrie

by Antwan Harris

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- "When I came in Tuesday and saw the glass all over the pharmacy, I knew I had been broken into," said Madison Ledford, Ledford's Pharmacy.

What Madison Ledford didn't know is what was missing from his Main Street pharmacy, almost 40 bottles of prescription pain pills.

Acting on a call from a tipster LaFayette police arrested Randall McAbee, 33, a city electrical employee and Dakota Guthrie, 22, on Monday.

Police say last month McAbee cut the power to the north end of the city, and that's when Guthrie threw a brick through the back window and raided the pharmacy.

"The thieves came in, busted the window and took a lot of prescription medication," said Ledford.

When the power was cut, Ledford's motion detectors began to malfunction and could not pick up the suspects movement.

Ledford knew McAbee had been a pharmacy customer for a number of years. He believes that's how the pair knew where to go when they robbed the store.

The same thing happened across town at the Medi-Thrift  Pharmacy.

"The pharmacist said 'there is no medicine here it is all gone.' I said 'what?'" said Mayor Neal Florence.

That's Florence's reaction once he found out his store was robbed last Tuesday. Thieves cut a hole in his roof and slid in through the ceiling.

Once inside they made off with dozens of bottles of prescription pills.

"The individuals that broke in has to have been here before," Florence added.

LaFayette Police are now on the lookout for more suspects, and the chief says the problem seems to be getting worse in North Georgia.

"I think that prescription drugs are pretty much as bad as the meth problem we are seeing through out the country," said Chief Tommy Freeman.

Police tell us there have been at least four separate break-ins in the last week; all of those involved thieves stealing prescription pills.

Police believe there are several suspects involved and many of them have visited these pharmacies in the past.

Both McAbee and Guthrie face 20 years in prison if convicted.

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