It appears the disturbing grab-and-dash retail theft trend has hit home here in Schuylkill County.
According to information released by State Police in Schuylkill Haven, the two CVS pharmacy locations in the Pottsville area – along Route 61 in the city and the other near Cressona Mall – were hit back on April 20 between 4:08 and 4:40 p.m.
Between the two stores, a total of $5,491 in merchandise was stolen.
The suspects made off from these CVS locations in two vehicles, one a 2013 Dodge (model not specified) and the other a 2007 Toyota Sienna van.
Police believe these retail theft incidents are part of a 6-day spree across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. A total of 22 similar jobs were pulled in that time, the police investigation revealed.
What is a Grab-and-Dash Robbery?
For those unfamiliar with this particular term, it is a type of theft that is as straightforward as it sounds but no less alarming because of its simplicity.
Grab-and-dash robberies typically involve an individual or group swiftly entering a business or public place, quickly seizing whatever valuable items they can grab within a few moments, and then hastily making their escape.
This type of crime is often characterized by its brazenness and speed. The perpetrators rely on the element of surprise, aiming to be in and out before anyone has a chance to react or intervene.
Because of the speed and suddenness of these incidents, they can leave victims and witnesses in shock, often unable to provide immediate or detailed descriptions of the thieves.
While the value of the stolen items can vary, these types of crimes can have a profound impact on the local businesses targeted, not only due to the financial loss of merchandise but also due to potential damage to the store and the psychological impact on employees and customers present during the robbery.
The sudden and disruptive nature of grab-and-dash robberies can also create a sense of unease within the community.
Most Often Stolen in Grab-and-Dash Robberies
While police have not detailed what was taken from these Pottsville-area CVS stores, it’s a good bet that cosmetics were involved. They’re often targeted by grab-and-dash thieves.
In grab-and-dash robberies, the criminals often target high-value items that are relatively small and easy to carry. Here are some items that are commonly stolen in such incidents:
- Electronics: Devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops are often targeted due to their high resale value and portability.
- Designer Clothing and Accessories: High-end clothing items, handbags, watches, and sunglasses can be quickly grabbed and have a significant resale value on the black market.
- Jewelry: Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry items, particularly those made from precious metals or featuring precious stones, can be quite valuable and easy to carry.
- Cosmetics: Expensive skincare and makeup products are also frequently targeted due to their small size and high retail price.
- Alcohol and Cigarettes: These items are often stolen for their quick resale potential.
- Tools: High-quality power tools are another common target, given their significant value and demand in various markets.