Montreal

Man posing as inspector tries to gain access to COVID-19 vaccines at Quebec pharmacy

A security memo obtained by CBC Montreal says the man showed up one hour before closing and said he was with a security agency tasked with verifying a pharmacy's stock of vaccines.

Jean Coutu memo says the man presented documentation and identification supporting his claim

The Jean Coutu network counts 416 franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario. Pharmacies are administering COVID-19 vaccines in Quebec. (The Canadian Press)

The Jean Coutu Group Inc. is warning its pharmacies to be vigilant, after a man presented himself as a vaccine inspector at one of their locations.

A security memo obtained by CBC Montreal says the man showed up one hour before closing and said he was with a security agency tasked with verifying their stock of vaccines.

A spokesperson for Jean Coutu told CBC that Repentigny police are investigating the April 12 incident and the pharmacy chain could not comment further. Repentigny is an off-island suburb just east of Montreal.

The memo says the man even presented documentation and identification supporting his claims. 

The manager of the location told the man they were not aware of inspections and did not give him access to the stock, the memo says.

After the visit, a call was made to health authorities and the store was told no such inspections are taking place.

The memo includes an image of the man who allegedly posed as the inspector. The memo encourages store managers to be on the lookout for him or others acting in the same way.

"If unfortunately you are the victim of theft related to this individual, please contact the police and advise them that a file is already open," says the memo, which was sent by the company's head of security, Sylvain Giguère.

Repentigny police are investigating. For now, they say they will not share any information regarding the case, including the photo of the suspect.  

The Jean Coutu network has 416 franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

Quebec has an agreement with about 1,400 pharmacists across the province to administer vaccines — with the goal of two million doses given by the end of July in pharmacies.

with files from Brennan Neill

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now