SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Walgreens is taking a cue from the banking business to try to keep criminals from robbing its pharmacies. The company is now testing out locking up drugs in safes here in Northern California.

“It’s costing the companies lots of money, as well as the safety of our people,” said Marcellus Clark, a spokesperson for Walgreens.

Surveillance cameras have captured break-ins at various Walgreens stores across the country. Now the company is saying enough is enough.

Walgreens began installing safes in stores around the country six months ago, locking up the most commonly used and abused controlled substances. The safe is time-delayed, which means once the pharmacist activates the touchpad, it won’t open up right away. In fact, it takes a few minutes.

“The criminal wants to be in and out as quickly as possible so they don’t want to wait those extra minutes because then they can get caught,” Clark said.

Sometimes thieves break-in, steal the drugs, and they’re out within a few minutes. But with a time-delayed safe, that immediate access to drugs goes away.

The message is the doors are not going to open right away so it would be better not to come to our location to steal,” Clark said.

Walgreens says the time-delay safe solution is working. It’s already seeing a decrease in prescription pill theft.