Thieves smashed their way into a business that an entire neighborhood counts on, but the owner of a Kansas City pharmacy is determined to keep helping his customers.
Workers had to board up a hole in the wall of Spalitto's Pharmacy, located at Independence and Cleveland Avenue, after the destruction, but that won't stop its owner. He is the third generation of his family in the business and they're not about to let the damage stop him from serving his customers now.
Spend any time with Pete Spalitto and people will quickly see it takes more than a hole in the wall to slow him down.
"We're actually doing business," he said. "We're back to normal, everything's running fine. We've just got a lot of damage we've got to repair."
Damage caught on surveillance video about 2:45 a.m. Thursday shows a white minivan backing into the business' side door twice before it bursts through the wall, sending prescription drugs flying.
"Some of them bottles are $400 and $500 a bottle," Spalitto said.
Add to that $60,000 to $80,000 to repair the wall and Spalitto's looking at a $100,000 loss. It's a huge sum compared to the cost of what the thieves actually stole – 20 bottles of prescription-strength codeine cough syrup, according to police.
"When they came in to get it, they knew exactly where we put it, and were out in less than a minute, before police could even get on the scene," Spalitto said.
But after 84 years and more than three generations in business, the Spalittos know this is not the worst that can happen. His grandfather was killed in a robbery at one of the pharmacy's old locations.
"I was relieved right when I received the phone call that it happened when no one was in the store," Spalitto said.
He was also relieved when the pharmacy was able to get running quickly, with even home deliveries going out by late morning. For people like Josephine Mussorici, just a day without her medication could be dangerous.
"I depend on that drug store," she said.
And with her medicine in hand, Mussorici had a prescription of her own for the thieves.
"Why did you do that? It's not right to steal, and you shouldn't ever do that again," she said.
The surveillance video, caught on the pharmacy's 16 cameras, also shows two men coming in the store. Police are not ready to release that part yet. The suspects have masks on, but they also left the white minivan behind at the scene and investigators hope it will hold more clues.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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