Clues Sought in $75 Million Record-Breaking Drug Heist

Police: Thieves rappelled through ceiling in "well orchestrated" theft.

March 18, 2010 — -- Police have reviewed a surveillance video in hopes of finding clues to cracking the case of a brazen, Hollywood-style heist of $75 million worth of pharmaceutical drugs in Connecticut.

The surveillance video covers the early morning hours Sunday during which thieves rappelled from the ceiling, disabled the alarms and made off with a jaw-dropping $75 million-worth of loot from an Eli Lilly warehouse. It is not clear what the video shows.

"Nobody's perfect and criminals are far from perfect," Enfield, Conn., police chief Carl Sferrazza told "Good Morning America." "Our job is to find where they made a mistake and I'm confident with the caliber of people we have in our department, we'll find where they slipped up."

Police say the thieves cut a hole in the roof of the warehouse and rappelled inside before disabling the alarm system and filling a tractor trailer with pallets of pills on Sunday. The drugs stolen were not painkillers or narcotics, but anti-depressants like Prozac and Cymbalta, along with cancer-fighting drugs.

"It was apparent that just by the sheer scope of this and how it was carried out, this was not [a] random or impulsive kind of act by a few individuals, but rather a well-organized, well-orchestrated, unfortunately well-executed theft," Sferrazza said.

But to turn the drugs into cash, the thieves go to online drug sellers, former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett said.

"The target buyer for these products could be online pharmacies," Garrett said. "They could actually be black marketeers in various locations."

Lilly's senior vice president of global quality said that, unlike many thefts, the nature of the pharmaceutical industry may make getting rid of the pills especially dicey.

"The U.S. pharmaceutical distribution system is tightly controlled and monitored, making it extremely difficult for stolen product to make it to patients through legitimate channels," Walsh said in a statement following the theft.

Lilly: Only Buy From 'Reputable' Retailers

In the same statement, Eli Lilly urged customers to buy products "only from well-established and reputable retailers."

"Lilly recommends that consumers always inspect the product and label for signs of tampering before opening," the statement said.

At least 31 pharmaceutical thefts in which more than $500,000 worth of drugs were stolen were reported in the U.S. in 2008 and 2009 according to the Associated Press. Of those, goods were recovered in less than half of the cases.

Connecticut police are working with federal agencies including the FBI and the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations and would only tell ABC News "it's an ongoing investigation."