ALAMEDA (KPIX 5) — Walgreens is taking a cue from the banking business to try to keep people from robbing its pharmacies.

The company is now locking up its powerful opioid painkillers — in safes.

Prescription pill prowlers have been caught time and time again at drug stores – at all hours of the day – including after the doors are locked.

Thefts were recorded on video at various Walgreens stores across the country, and now the company is saying, enough is enough.

“It’s costing the company lots of money as well as the safety of our people,” said Walgreens spokesman Marcellus Clark.

Walgreens began installing safes in its stores six months ago, locking up the most commonly used and abused – and therefore, stolen – controlled substances.

The safe is time delayed, which means once the pharmacist activates the touch pad, it won’t open up right away. In fact, it takes a few minutes.

“The criminal wants to be in and out as quickly as possible so they don’t want to wait those extra minutes because then they can get caught,” said Clark.

In surveillance video, thieves can be seen breaking in, stealing the drugs and escaping within two minutes.

Walgreens says the time-delay safe solution is working. The company is seeing a decrease in prescription pill pilfering.

“The message is the doors are not going to open right away, so it would be better not to come to our location to steal,” said Clark.

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