Big prescription drug bust in Upper Darby

February 8, 2009 3:38:10 PM PST
Upper Darby Police have arrested a man they say stole nearly a half a million dollars in prescription pills. As it turns out, police weren't exactly looking for the suspect... he inadvertently came to them.

Police say the suspect had a ski mask and police scanner with an ear piece so that he could monitor if Upper Darby Police were onto him. Police say they may have never caught up with him if it weren't for a monumentally stupid mistake.

Superintendent Michael Chitwood told the press, "We're naming, or dubbing, this operation 'Operation Dumb and Dumber'."

Chitwood says 43-year-old Thomas Ferkler is a career criminal who used sophisticated techniques to burglarize the Coris Pharmacy last week in the 7600 block of West Chester Pike.

Chitwood explained, "Entrance was gained by cutting the alarm system, the phone lines, the wire mesh from the roof where the air condition unit was at."

Once inside police say he knocked out the surveillance cameras and cleaned out two safes in the pharmacy of cash and tremendous amounts of pharmaceutical drugs.

Police say they had absolutely nothing to go on until a neighbor reported a suspicious vehicle that had been parked in the unit block of Hartley Road for two days. When police arrived they found the keys in the trunk lock, and inside the trunk they found tons of drugs in a gym bag.

"And in the gym bag was the name of the bad guy, and his identification with his address," said Chitwood. "Guy's a career criminal. Has served several years in prison for burglaries and drugs."

Police say Ferkler admitted his roll in the burglary and that he had consumed some of the heavy duty drugs.

"He got so wacked out on some of the stuff that he took that he went into the house and passed out for a couple of days. And that's why he left the keys in the trunk, because we probably wouldn't have ever found this out," said Chitwood.

In all, police say they confiscated almost a half million dollars worth of drugs.

Thomas Ferkler has been remanded to the George Hill Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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