In an effort to crack down on prescription drug theft, police in New York City plan to release fake pill bottes equipped with GPS trackers. New York City Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly, introduced the initiative on Tuesday and called it “Operation Safety Cap.”
The NYPD will ask pharmacies to stock these “bait bottles,” which are labeled as painkillers but actually filled with harmless placebo tablets. The police hopes that the trackers will lead them to a large pile of stolen prescription drugs.
Kelly explains that this prescription drug abuse “can serve as a gateway to criminal activities, especially among young people. when pills become too expensive, addicts are known to resort to cheaper drugs such as heroin and cocaine. They turn to crime to suppor their habit.” Bridget Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor for New York City, added that, “It’s an excellent use of available technology to address a real problem.”
The devices will be provided by Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin. The NYPD has already begun creating a database of pharmacies and plans to dispatch officers to visit them with the fake bottles and provide additional information on extra security measures.
Image of Ray Kelly courtesy of Associated Press.