Wal-Mart Stores Fall Victim to Consumer Health Products Thefts

ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) - A pair of thieves who hit four Wal-Marts in a 24-hour period this week weren't looking for guns or fishing gear. They preferred $30,000 worth of diabetes testing strips and nicotine patches.

Stores in Elkins, Buckhannon, Weston and Grafton were raided Thursday, one while it was still open, State Police 1st Sgt. Jim Wise said Friday.

The testing strips cost nearly $70 per box, while the nicotine patches start at about $40 and can run as high as $80 per box, Wise said.

Surveillance video at the Elkins store, which was open at the time of the thefts, shows two male suspects. Wise, however, said he had not viewed it and could not immediately describe the men.

But if the thieves plan to sell their loot, they have plenty of potential customers: West Virginia has consistently ranked among the top six states for adult smoking and also ranks among the worst in the nation for diabetes.