The NYPD is planning on introducing “Bait Bottles” in an effort to track stolen prescription painkillers. Pharmacists are to keep fake pills in these bait bottles and hide them with the bottles of real pills. Aside from the dangers of accidently selling these fakes to people with legitimate prescriptions, I see a few flaws in this plan.
It’s my understanding that prescription painkiller addicts usually obtain their drugs by doctors’ prescriptions, or by taking them from other prescription holders; not by stealing directly from pharmacies (all those inconvenient locks, security devices, bullet proof glass, cameras, etc.).
However, for argument’s sake, let’s say that pharmacies in New York City are low security, gun free zones (because I really don’t know for sure how they operate there). A crook with an average mind would know some of the bottles are being traced and would know to empty the pills into a plastic bag, throw the bottles in a public trash receptacle, and later, if the fakes are indistinguishable from the real ones, grind the lot and form new pills. Not a big deal.
Now let’s have some fun. Let’s say it was me who has just raided a pharmacy’s painkiller stash. This is what would happen. I would be have a GPS signal jammer (not difficult to acquire or use) plugged into my car. When I have a moment, I would find the bottles that emit a cellular or GPS signal (still no technical know-how required, just a simple signal detector) and keep them hidden near that handy signal jammer until I find some fun use for the bait bottles, like implicating a government official or public servant. Perhaps it would be useful, at the expense of my rivals, to see if just how far the cops will go and what equipment they would use to find the fake pills.
For even more fun at the police’ expense, I could drop the bait bottles in the river, or on to an open bed truck on the highway, or tie one to a handful of celluloid balloons. I might plant one in the yard of a vicious, half-starved fighting dog; or leave one in a common area of a nursing home (oh, the glory of squads in full SWAT gear descending on senior citizens).
Someone with my relatively mild criminal sensibilities could cause a lot of chaos with GPS bait bottles.
No, I’m not a crook, I’ve never stolen or abused any kind of drug, and I have no plans on taking up that kind of activity. However, as a responsible adult with a family to protect, I do from time to time plan against home invaders. If you yourself have doctor prescribed painkillers, I would offer strong advice to keep the meds locked up, and only tell those who need to know what you are taking.