A pharmacist in northeast England, working for Boots Pharmacy, admitted in April 2018 to stealing prescription anabolic steroids from a number of different pharmacy locations throughout the region that he had been employed at.
Just 34 years old, Andrew Brown testified against himself in the Magistrates Court on April 16 of 2018 and admitted to stealing prescription grade anabolic steroids directly from a number of the Boots Pharmacy locations that he had been employed at.
According to his own testimony (as well as CCTV footage that recorded each individual theft), the pharmacist had stolen just over $8800 worth of numerous types of anabolic steroids over a 10 month block of time – overlapping 2017 and 2018 – all in an effort to use those anabolic steroids himself on a quest to become a professional bodybuilder.
An idea that a pharmacist might be stealing steroids was raised after internal reviews of inventory at a number of different Boots Pharmacy locations throughout Northeast England show discrepancies that could not be reconciled. A number of supervisors from these pharmacy locations met with one another and decided to review the CCTV security footage overlooking the prescription drug bays and storage area – and that’s when they discovered Andrew Brown stealing the drugs on a number of different occasions.
The CCTV security footage clearly showed Brown pulling steroids from different storage containers and then casually dropping them into a backpack, a messenger bag, and into his coat and clothing. Daily records were tracked to match up with the inventory discrepancies, and the only individual that was clearly shown to be stealing these drugs on CCTV footage was Mr. Andrew Brown himself.
When it came time to testify, the 34-year-old pharmacist admitted to stealing the anabolic steroids and said that he had access to so many of these pharmacies because he was working as a professional “relief pharmacist”. This is an individual that picks up shifts sporadically, and as need be, to cover for pharmacists that are out and otherwise unavailable for work at that particular point in time.
This gave Mr. Brown an opportunity to visit dozens of different pharmacy locations throughout Northeast England, though he only stole from four different locations over that 10 month block of time.
Mr. Brown also admitted that he had been using the steroids he stole himself after consulting with an internet bodybuilding coach. Brown wanted to become a professional bodybuilder and was told by this online coach that steroids were the only way he was going to be able to compete with those that had been working out for much more than a decade longer than he had – as well as those that were much longer and had a lot more time to add muscle to their frame.
Part of the plea deal that Mr. Brown agreed to included him disclosing exactly how he was able to steal all of the steroids, and how he used the Boots Pharmacy ordering system to obtain different kinds of anabolic steroids that he could use in conjunction with his workout program.
This is not a man that intended to sell or distribute the steroids that he was stealing, but obviously a man that was committed to using the steroids on his own. The defense attorney for Mr. Brown clearly indicated that his client understood he would eventually become, and that he recognized this even as he stole from his employer, but continue to do so because he had low self-esteem and had become obsessed with making it as a successful professional bodybuilder.
A date for the actual sentencing of Mr. Brown has not yet been established, though the odds are good that his sentence will be considerably lighter than it may have been otherwise – particularly if he hadn’t admitted guilt and have been distributing these drugs rather than using them personally.