NYPD police shot & killed a man suspected of robbing a drugstore on the Upper East Side.
Scott Kato, 45, robbed the HealthSource Pharmacy on Second Avenue and 68th Street Friday afternoon, demanding cash and OxyContin, police said. He fled in an SUV and made almost 30 blocks when cops tracked him down, police said. How? One of the pill bottles he took from the drugstore was actually a decoy containing a GPS device, police said.
The decoy bottles were introduced last year by the police commissioner at the time, Raymond W. Kelly, who announced that the department would begin to stock pharmacy shelves with decoy bottles of painkillers containing GPS devices. The initiative was in response to a sharp increase of armed and often deadly pharmacy robberies across the state, frequently by people addicted to painkillers.
While the New York Police Department was not the first in the state to use the decoy bottles, it was among the first to publicize the program, believing that the publicity could deter prospective robbers. Other police departments chose to keep the initiatives private, concerned that if robbers knew of the GPS devices, the risk to pharmacy workers could be greater.
The bottles are designed to be weighted and to rattle when shaken, so a thief does not initially realize they do not contain pills. Each of the decoy bottles sits atop a special base, and when the bottle is lifted from the base, it begins to emit a tracking signal.