DC region pharmacies continue with cleanup after looters break in during protests

Prescription drugs and alcohol have been the target of looters who have hit several pharmacies in the D.C. region during protests over the death of George Floyd. 

At Rodman’s Food & Drug Store in Northwest D.C., dozens of looters were seen on surveillance cameras breaking into the store through a now boarded up window on late ‪Sunday evening‬, grabbing everything they could get their hands on.

General Manager Nolan Rodman told FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan on Wednesday that he was watching the video from home in real-time as crowds were moving along Wisconsin Avenue NW, some of which included looters.

He called it, “live pillaging of the store.”

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In the video, one person is seen tossing a heavy object, which looks like a brick, right into one of the windows for Rodman’s. The brick drops, but then the person picked it up and threw it once again at the window followed by a nearby chair.

Rodman said looters practically ransacked the family-owned business taking stacks of wine along the way. He said many of them even managed to find their way to the pharmacy counter, taking with them some very expensive controlled narcotics before escaping through the back of the store.

“At the end of the day, these are pills and bottles taken and nobody got hurt and if we had confronted them in there it could have been a different situation,” said Rodman. “I watched the footage a lot and there were just so many cars that were just dropping people off and picking people up and then you could see all these cars making u-turns.”

FOX 5 also spoke with Dr. Michael Kim, owner of three Grubb’s Pharmacy locations and Morgan Pharmacy within the District.

Kim said all four of the pharmacies were broken into ‪beginning Saturday night‬ all the way up until Tuesday night. Two of them he said were hit twice.

Broken windows and glass could be seen everywhere in surveillance footage provided to us by Kim, in addition to a swarm of bodies continuing to trickle in through shattered windows and front glass doors.

In another video, several people are seen trying to take as many over the counter and prescription drugs, some of which Kim said were expensive HIV medicines.

Kim said his pharmacies cater to a majority of underserved communities within the District. He said it’s not the pharmacies getting robbed that disheartens him, rather it’s the impact of those very actions that will be felt by the people who rely and benefit from his business.

“You know, honestly, our clientele is predominantly African American. Many of them are friends and it’s senseless,” said Kim. “I honestly don’t think it’s our own community that’s coming back to rob us and loot us, I feel that it’s people coming from the outside of the general area here. They are just misguided and they are lost so all I can do is pray for them.”

Kim said his son setup a GoFundMe link to help support the needed repairs while also paying their employees who are working extra hours to help with the cleanup. 

The Metropolitan Police Department did not confirm if the break-ins in the two cases are connected. A department spokesperson said that no arrests have been made and the case remains under active investigation.