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NYPD to Equip Pill Bottles With GPS Trackers

By Ben Feuerherd 01/16/13

A new plan to crack down on prescription drug theft and abuse involves hidden "bait bottles."

Special "bait bottles" look just like normal pill
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The NYPD has announced a plan to combat theft and abuse of highly-addictive painkillers by equipping pill bottles with GPS tracking devices. Thousands of pharmacies across the city would be encouraged to stock these "bait bottles," which would be unidentifiable and hidden among the other prescription bottles on the shelves. "In the event of a robbery or theft, we'll be able to track the bottle, which may lead us to stash locations across the city," said police commissioner Ray Kelly, who outlined the plan at a health conference on Tuesday. Kelly said the initiative was prompted by a number of high-profile cases of prescription drug theft in New York, including a pharmacy heist that left four dead on Long Island, and a retired NYPD officer who held up several drug stores to support his addiction. The commissioner also pointed out that prescription drug abuse can lead to other forms of criminal activities, especially among young people. "When pills become too expensive, addicts are known to resort to cheaper drugs such as heroin and cocaine," he said. "They turn to crime to support their habit." Bridget Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor for NYC, said the new initiative is "an excellent use of available technology to address a real problem." She added that cracking down on prescription drug abuse "has become a real priority for the NYPD."

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Benjamin Feuerherd is a city reporter at the New York Post. He has previously worked for The Daily Beast and NBC. You can find him on Linkedin and Twitter

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