DNA links Lilly, GSK warehouse thefts

The FBI has found a match between DNA taken from Eli Lilly's Enfield, CT, warehouse--site of last year's $75 million heist of cancer, cardiovascular and depression treatments--and that found on a left-behind coffee cup at GlaxoSmithKline's Chesterfield, VA, warehouse, site of a $6 million prescription drug robbery seven months before.

The implication is that one thief participated in both burglaries. The operations share roof entry and other characteristics, but are perhaps most clearly marked by the professionalism of the jobs.

The Lilly/GSK heist suspect is a fugitive Miami Cuban, reports Fortune, a "prolific convicted burglar." The long, slow investigation continues.

In addition to providing the theft-investigation updates, Fortune reconstructs the 2009 robbery of $10.9 million worth of Novo Nordisk drugs from a tractor-trailer in Conover, NC. Long-acting insulin Levemir was among the drugs taken. The account details the theft from the warehouse to some consumers who visited a well-known retail chain but subsequently suffered adverse reactions from the compromised product.

The article shows that drug thieves are meticulous planners; have backgrounds in logistics, trucking and construction and patiently case warehouses and truck stops for security weaknesses. It also shows that constant high-alert vigilance is now a requirement for drugmakers.

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Special Report: Top 10 Pharma Cargo Thefts by Value, 2009/2010.