CVS pharmacies in West Virginia add time-delayed safes to all stores

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ST. ALBANS, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- CVS Pharmacy is making changes to keep powerful drugs out of the wrong hands. The pharmacy just finished the final project, adding time-delayed safes to all of its 58 locations in West Virginia, plus the pharmacies in Target.

CVS has found a way to lower robberies of highly abusive drugs in its stores.

These highly abused medications can only be accessed by employees after a specific amount of time and they cannot be overridden.

"Highly abused medications opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone are kept in the safe," said St. Albans CVS Pharmacy Manager Stefanie Stutler.

West Virginia is no stranger to these types of crimes. In 2015, Kristy Albright and Charles Jacobs both were charged and later convicted for their roles in a string of CVS robberies where four different stores were held up in the Charleston area.

In 2015, CVS put the safes in stores in Indianapolis, another place where a lot of these thefts happened. The company noticed that when the safes were put in, those types of robberies decreased by 70 percent, and other areas decreased by 50 percent.

"Usually the potential robbers are wanting to get in and out of the pharmacy as quickly as possible so they don't get caught. So the time delay will prevent them from getting out more quickly," Stutler said.

CVS is also adding a way to dispose of drugs to 27 of its store in the state. For Stutler and her team, this is another layer of protection and another step to overcoming the opioid crisis.

"It is just another way CVS is preventing medications from getting into the wrong hands, so not only do we have time delay safes we have drug disposal kiosks," Stutler said. These kiosks are being added to 27 locations in West Virginia. More kiosks are going to be donated to local law enforcement agencies.