That paranoia you feel after purloining a few bottles of Oxycontin may be soon be legitimate: the NYPD will start tagging drugstore prescription bottles with GPS chips in hopes of tracking thieves.
The initiative, which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is expected to announce today, aims to cut down on theft and black market pills that fuel the fastest-growing drug problem in the country. Kelly says the move was sparked by a recent spate of pill-related crime, like web-based dealing rings and a 2011 shooting at a Long Island pharmacy that stemmed from a botched pill robbery, and that pill addiction can be a gateway to bigger things. "When pills become too expensive, addicts are known to resort to cheaper drugs such as heroin and cocaine," Kelly says. "They turn to crime to support their habit."
The city's ramped up its anti-pill-popping initiatives recently, with Mayor Bloomberg cutting down on the days allotted to dole out painkillers in hospital emergency rooms last week. But if you're concerned that popping a couple painkillers after your bunion surgery will send Big Brother Kelly and his crew after you, fear not: the NYPD plans to put only a few GPS-tagged bottles on pharmacy shelves, and say they'll only activate the GPS chip in the event of a theft, so you're still free to zone out and heal up on your couch watching Storage Wars.