Police are looking for a man who celebrated the opening of a Rite Aid Pharmacy on Legion Avenue with a brick through one of the store’s windows not once, but twice.
Hill South District Manager Lt. Brendan Hosey said that at just after 1 a.m. on Feb. 20 and after 2 a.m. Feb. 27 a man hurled a brick through the window of the new store and stole cigarettes.
The store, which opened several weeks ago as the first completed part of a broader “Route 34 West” development, has security cameras outside and an alarm system inside. But the perpetrator can’t be identified from the footage because he was concealed in dark clothes and a hood.
“The panes of glass are pretty thick,” Hosey said of the store. “You can see [on the video] after he threw the brick, he waits to see if it sets off the alarm. He waits to see if we’re coming.”
Hosey said the man was able to grab the smokes and flee in less than four minutes just by reaching through the broken glass. He said the store has a security system in place, but there are still some problems with it that are being worked out.
“It’s a beautiful store, but it’s got these ground-level windows,” he said. “New Haven pushed for those windows to give the store a friendly appearance. No other pharmacy location has those windows.”
Pharmacies tend to keep cigarettes behind the counter at the front of the store. At the Rite-Aid downtown and several other chain pharmacies around the city, the stores are designed to have high walls with glass windows at the top. But the Legion Avenue store has a section of windows at street level.
The store’s manager has hired a security guard to work midnights, but the second time the man broke into the store the guard was not on duty. An officer working patrol nearby looped around the store calling in other officers to help set up a perimeter quickly after the second break-in. Hosey said he thinks the man was alerted to the police presence and slipped out the back a minute before officers arrived.
In addition to trying to get the bugs worked out of the store’s security system, Hosey said, management is installing a set of interior gates to better secure the windows, but its going to take some time.