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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

Takoma Park Walgreens faces nine larceny thefts weekly since New Year's, per data

Written By: Alexa Figueroa 🇸🇻



The exterior of the Walgreens located at University Blvd E, Takoma Park on April 13, 2024. (Isai Amaya-Diaz)


Ailym Brizuela, a former shift lead at the Takoma Park Walgreens, stood in aisle one when she heard what sounded like routine shuffling near the register. She entered the back office to inspect the cameras when the other shift lead ran in.


“There’s somebody sitting at the front with a gun,” the other shift lead said.


Brizuela recalled seeing the cashier at the register try to contact the shift leads via an earpiece, but the shoplifter stopped her and indicated that he had a gun. Brizuela witnessed him take $10 and $20 bills and flee in a car that the police later confirmed had been stolen.  


The Walgreens on the 1300 block of University Boulevard is vulnerable to larceny thefts, with an average of nine reported thefts a week since January 2024, per the Takoma Park Police Departments weekly crime report. There were 17 larceny thefts reported from April 5-12, with some occurring two to three times a day.  


This Walgreens location is prone to theft due to its close proximity to the Takoma Park/Prince George’s County border, according to Catherine Plevy, the Takoma Park Police Public Information Manager. 


Numerous PG County suspects cross into Takoma Park to steal from Walgreens and flee across the county line, making it difficult for Takoma Park officials to pursue these suspects, allowing them to escape, Plevy said. 


“It is oftentimes the same individual or group of individuals committing several thefts from Walgreens in a day or over several days,” said Plevy. 


Brizuela, a Langley Park resident, said that the same shoplifters targeted Walgreens three or four times a day. She added that employees are not allowed to stop the shoplifters, only record them. Many of these shoplifters resell the items in her neighborhood. 


“I, obviously, would have to chase behind them at least to record, and they would just sell it across the street…The same shoplifters selling the same diapers with the same Walgreens stickers,” said Brizuela, who was a shift lead for two and a half years. 


Suspects will steal items from Walgreens, sell them to third-party sellers in exchange for drugs and resell these items at a discount, Plevy said.


Restock cart inside of the Walgreens located at University Blvd E, Takoma Park on April 13, 2024. (Isai Amaya-Diaz)


“They just get a slap on the wrist for stealing,” Brizuela said. “And then there they go. They will get locked up one day, and then they’re out the next day or three days after.”


TPPD has taken several initiatives to prevent thefts at Walgreens, Plevy said. She explained these efforts include positioning available cameras, officers and patrol cars and having roll call meetings at Walgreens and analyzing crime trends to more effectively deploy resources.


“Walgreens has been highly susceptible to theft ever since our Crime Analyst began at Takoma Park in May 2022,” Plevy said. “Before 2022, the numbers were not nearly as high at this location.”


Nancy Pozo, the current manager of the Takoma Park Walgreens, declined to comment.  


Walgreens corporate has also not commented on the situation, despite numerous requests.


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