ROCHESTER — Looters took advantage of a big hole left behind after someone backed an SUV into the side of a locally owned pharmacy in Rochester. The thieves stole two boxes full of medications meant to be picked up by customers on Wednesday from Warren’s Pharmacy along Jefferson Avenue.
Surveillance video from a market in the same building as the pharmacy shows two men walking into the parking lot from across the street and getting into a white SUV. Seconds later, someone approaches the driver’s side door and an argument ensues. Then, someone else opens the passenger side door and begins to confront the passenger. With that door still open, the driver quickly reverses the car and ends up backing into the side of the pharmacy before taking off.
Muntasier Mohammad, who lives across the street, called 911.
“I waited for 10 minutes, nobody showed up and I called back again. I said people are tampering with evidence here, you need to come,” he said. As the minutes ticked away, Mohammad said, looters started using the hole in the building to gain access.
"They took two boxes, and I alerted the owner,” he said.
Mohammad Chhipa is the owner and pharmacist. He says the looters were able to get under the fenced-in pharmacy counter to steal the medications.
“They got to look for each other. I've been in this neighborhood for 32 years. I look out for them, they at least ... someone shouldn't have come inside and taken patient prescriptions ... it could be their grandmother, their uncle, sister, brother, you're taking medications, they need their medications,” Chhipa said.
The thieves were in and out quickly and didn’t get their hands on any narcotics.
Many in the neighborhood are shocked anyone would do that to Chhipa.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back, he really would. I've seen when people come in and don't have nothing and say, 'I need to catch a bus.' He'll give them money to get the bus. Why would you break into the store … What do you hope to gain? It's just not fair,” said Calivin Satterfield, a long-time customer of Warren’s Pharmacy.
Chhipa said he’ll repair the damage and continue to serve the community as he has for three decades.
"It could have been worse, okay ... what happened, it happened but it could have been worse and I thank god for it, thank god,” he said.
Rochester Police said no arrests have been made as of Wednesday evening and the case is still under investigation.