Lawsuit Contends Thieves in $80 Million Eli Lilly and Company Robbery Aided by Warehouse Schematics

Published: Mar 21, 2013

When thieves cut their way into an Enfield warehouse in 2010 and carried out — unnoticed — the biggest pharmaceutical theft in U.S. history, they might have been armed with schematics of the warehouse security system. A new lawsuit says they were. Warehouse owner Eli Lilly and Co. and its insurer claim in the suit in U.S. District Court in Hartford that security contractor ADT allowed details of the system it monitored for Lilly, as well as those at three other business clients elsewhere in the country, to fall into the hands of warehouse thieves. Lilly said the burglary cost it $80 million in inventory. Its insurer, National Union Fire Insurance, said in the suit that it has paid Lilly more than $42 million for damage to property, inventory and for other expenses associated with the burglary. Three other businesses with warehouses guarded by ADT in Florida, Texas and Illinois have been hit by burglars with apparent knowledge of security systems and lost millions more in inventory, the suit says. Lilly and National Union assert in the suit that ADT regularly reviewed client security systems under its marketing program and generated richly detailed reports on deficiencies. The suit claims ADT stored those confidential reports at what it refers to as a "storage mechanism in Florida." The suit implies that the thieves obtained the report on Lilly's Enfield system, but does not say how. But it asserts that the thieves "utilized unique and confidential knowledge of the security system and the components of that system … to effectively infiltrate the warehouse without triggering the security monitoring system." Florida-based ADT declined to discuss the suit and a spokeswoman said the company is no longer involved in corporate security following a reorganization in 2012. New Jersey-based Tyco Integrated Security, which handles corporate security following the reorganization, was also named in the suit and declined comment. The Lilly burglary could have been a screenplay. Employees left work on March 11, 2010, a Friday. When they returned the following Monday, they found a hole in the roof and a sophisticated security system that had been turned off. It later was learned that for five hours over Saturday and Sunday, the thieves used Lilly's own forklift to load 49 pallets of pharmaceuticals onto a rented tractor-trailer.

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