Coachella pharmacy broken into twice in 24 hours

Coachella Pharmacy Burglarized Twice in One Day

COACHELLA, Calif. - Around 5:20 Tuesday morning, a man was caught on surveillance cameras breaking in and stealing from La Botica Health Mart and Pharmacy in Coachella. When store owner Chandra Patel arrived, he and police discovered the front glass door shattered and medications cleared out.

"They took things that were ready. I'd say 90 prescriptions were stolen," said Patel.

Later that night around 10:45, the man, who Patel believed was the same suspect seen wearing khaki shorts and an A's baseball hat from the morning burglary, came back for more.
"I got another call, that my pharmacy was broken into again," he said. "It's amazing someone has the guts to do it again, the same person. He was just calm and collective and he was looking for something," Patel said.

It was two burglaries in less than 24 hours. This time, the suspect shattered a second glass door with an accomplice who was seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with his face covered with a white mask.
Both men jumped the counter, grabbed their choice of drugs and fled the scene, leaving behind a hammer.

"I'm glad we weren't here. Who knows what could've happened?" said Maricela Hernandez, a pharmacy technician.

Watching video of the two men in action was frustrating to pharmacy employees as they added up the cost in damages and the tacked on work load.

"I thought it was crazy. We work hard to give people their medications and for them to take everything, we have to do everything all over again," said Hernandez.

Patel said it will cost $500 each to fix the glass doors. The varying medications stolen could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000.

Employees are asking for the community's help.
"I hope for somebody to speak out if they know who it is, hopefully get them caught. If it's happened twice in one day, it will probably happen again," said Hernandez.

If you have any information on the burglaries, call Valley Crimestoppers at 760-341-STOP. Tips can remain anonymous and you could be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.

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