Authorities capture suspected pharmacy robbers

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - Police say it could be the break to solve 40 pharmacy break-ins, including several in East Texas. Sunday night, Mineola police arrested 18-year-old Daniel Ortiz of Fort Worth and 25-year-old Delia Lemos of Greenville, allegedly breaking into the Medicine Chest pharmacy in Mineola. The two may also be linked to dozens more break-ins, spanning three states.

"We've been watching our pharmacies kind of close, but you can't watch them all the time," said Captain Joyce Box.

Surveillance video captured the robbery and police believe Daniel Ortiz is the man wearing a black hoodie in the video, racing through The Medicine Chest in Mineola, looking to fill his bag with one drug in particular...hydrocodone.

While Captain Box and Mineola police worked The Medicine Chest burglary, Sunday night, police all the way in Coushatta, Louisiana investigated a Sunday morning break-in at Mabile's Corner Pharmacy.

"We knew we were going to be hit, basically, because it was high alert," explained Box.

"They're scoping us out...and looking to see where we go and where we keep our medication," said April Bonds, owner of Elliott's Pharmacy back in January.

Officials have surveillance footage and photos from robberies in Edgewood, Grand Saline, Gilmer Jacksonville, Mt. Vernon and Winnsboro.

It's not yet known whether the two are responsible for all of them. But....

"It seems to be a ring," said Box. "We actually verified that there were two other people in another vehicle with them."

Captain Box said police stopped the couple's car in town later that night. After the burglary, tips and calls came pouring in.

"We wouldn't be where we're at if it wasn't for the citizens of Mineola," said the Captain. "This makes our job worthwhile."

The Texas Rangers are now investigating the case, which may include burglaries in Oklahoma. Police say they found a bottle of hydrocodone on the side of the road in the area where the two were arrested. Both were charged with burglary of a building. Now, Delia Lemons is out on $10,000 bond. Daniel Ortiz is still being held without bond.

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