Police Catch Robbery Suspect Towing Safe Behind Car

Police say a North Carolina man broke into a drive-thru pharmacy and used his car to tow a safe filled with prescription drugs.

Police Catch Robbery Suspect Towing Safe Behind Car
Swansboro Police Department / WCTI

This might take top prize for least-thought-out robbery. 

​Police say early in the morning of Aug. 12, 22-year-old North Carolina resident Ryan Mullins broke into a drive-thru pharmacy. According to Jacksonville Daily News, police believe Mullins then used his vehicle to tow away an 8-foot-tall, 100-pound safe filled with prescription drugs. 

Witness Carmen Fickling says she saw Mullins leave the pharmacy as she was coming into work next door. She quickly snapped a photo of his vehicle.


She says: "A lot of things crossed through my mind as to what could possibly be going on and none of them were good. But I never expected to see him pull a safe with the rope. It was strange." 

Authorities say Mullins still had the safe attached when he passed a police officer, and video from a police dashcam shows the not-so-high-speed chase that ensued.

The trunk flapping open definitely didn't help the suspect look less conspicuous. If you're thinking, "How could anyone in their right mind think they'd get away with that?" ... well ...

WTVD reports driving while intoxicated was one of the many charges brought against Mullins, along with larceny, possession of stolen goods and counts of trafficking opium or heroin. 

As comical as Mullins' case might seem, pharmacy robberies are a serious problem, especially among addicts. 

In 2011, CNN put the issue in the spotlight. It noted not only do addicts mistake the drugs for being safer because doctors prescribe them, but the thieves also stand to make large profits. A bottle of 60 pills of OxyContin could be sold for $5,000. 

A detective told CNN"Some of the bank robbers have now actually stopped robbing banks and cut out the middle men and gone directly to the source. And that's robbing the pharmacy." 

And an investigative journalism website reports there were more than 8,500 cases of pharmacy robberies nationwide between 2010 and 2013. Not counting this recent attempt, a group that tracks pharmacy robberies counts 12 cases so far in 2014.