CVS plans to thwart burglars with smoke

Published September 18, 2006

CVS Corp. is testing a new way to smoke out after-hours robbers at some of its Florida drugstores.

When intruders break in after hours, an alarm triggers smoke cannons that fill the store with a thick cloud of nontoxic, no-residue white fog within 20 seconds.

Because money and prescription drugs are typically secured for the night, CVS loss-prevention people want to deter robbers who sweep off entire shelves of merchandise, then typically break open a second door to make their getaway with the goods.

"The robbers typically freak out because they cannot see anything," said Mike DeAngelis of CVS. "Then they usually run out the same way they came in."

CVS is the first U.S. retail chain to import the system supplied by ProtectGlobal that has been used in Australia and the United Kingdom for years.