Hardware stores targeted by meth makers

Warren Wright

Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Hardware stores targeted by meth makers

CREATED Aug. 26, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla.- A popular chemical used to unclog your drain is also becoming popular as an ingredient to make a dangerous drug.

Unfortunately, most of the ingredients to cook up a batch of meth are easy to find.
Some local hardware stores are seeing a run on those ingredients and that has some law enforcement officials concerned.
Pictures from the website Faces of Meth demonstrate just how graphically it can disfigure you.
Special agent Tom Foy from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says unfortunately the ingredients to make it are easy to get.
He says "its made from normal everyday things you may find in a garage."
In fact different hardware stores have said they've seen people come in and by larger than normal amounts of drain cleaner, a common ingredient.
Its extremely dangerous, with a high sulfuric acid content.
One hardware store that isn't seeing a run on such products is Ace Hardware in San Carlos.  
Management says they're not afraid to ask the customer why they need it.
Dale Hutchinson from Ace Hardware says"we do pay attention to quantities.and if anything is unusual we report it."
FDLE says, the Ace store is doing exactly the right thing.
But despite the dangers in making meth and the problems in using it, FDLE agents aren't surprised to see meth on the rise if only because there's been a successful crack down on prescription drugs.
Special Agent Foy says "its obviously been tougher to find some of these prescription drugs... so it would be normal for addicts to turn to other drugs."
The FDLE says its up to the discretion of the store owner, but if they are suspicious, any information they can collect on the individual customer should then be passed on to the local law enforcement's narcotics unit.
Warren Wright