Police have yet to confirm if all three are related
El Paso — Three separate break-ins occur within just hours of each other early Thursday morning.
Police say the first break in happened at Grace Pharmacy at La Quinta Place in the East side.
The third at McCrory's in West El Paso, and the second one - happened at Alameda Pharmacy in South El Paso, about a 20 minute drive from the first break in.
"Apparently they broke into our store for the second time. When was the first time? First time was two months ago, the people were looking for controlled substances," Mark Estrada, the owner of the Alameda Pharmacy said.
He says the burglars stole cash the first time around and this time they stole controlled substances.
"They probably took an excess of maybe $15,000 of controlled drugs... the ones that are really hot right now oxycontin, vicodins, what not," Estrada explained.
Police and the owners of the other businesses aren't saying much but the owner of Alameda has plenty to say.
"The controlled substances are the real problem. Something needs to be done about these controlled drugs," he said.
In fact, the FDA has been discussing whether or not to place tighter control on Vicodin. Experts say Vicodin is a strong pain killer that is highly addictive and widely abused, and in a lot of cases, caused death.
"They need to change the control status of the medications or better yet, not even make them. Which may sound a little weird coming from a pharmacy owner, but that stuff is poison," Estrada said.
Police are not saying if these three break-ins are related but all three front doors had similar damage.
For now, it's back to business and the hope that something may change.
"It's an epidemic with these medications, the abuse with the doctors and patients and it's a real vicious circle that has no real end," Estrada exclaimed.