A day after the state attorney general called Long Island "the center of the state's prescription drug epidemic," Nassau County police said they are investigating the theft of prescription narcotics from a Carle Place pharmacy.

A police spokesman Wednesday said an undetermined amount of "prescription narcotics" was taken in the burglary of the Maple Pharmacy at 570 Westbury Ave.

Someone broke into the pharmacy by smashing the glass on a rear door at about 1:50 a.m. Tuesday, Third Squad detectives said.

Police did not release specific information on the prescription drugs taken and said in a news release that "the investigation is ongoing."

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had visited Long Island later Tuesday to gain support for a bill to better monitor who is using narcotic medicine.

At a news conference at the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Mineola, he cited Long Island's issues with prescription drugs.

Schneiderman said "it's time to take action before another tragedy strikes. The law enforcement officials, medical professionals and community members on the ground, who see the devastation of this crisis firsthand, stand united to protect our communities."

Schneiderman's Internet System for Tracking Over Prescribing, or I-STOP, plans for an online database that enables doctors and pharmacists to quickly report and track certain controlled substances.

The current monitoring system allows access only to doctors, many of whom shun it. Schneiderman's proposal will give access to virtually anybody designated by a doctor in his office.

Tuesday's announcement came as pharmacists across Long Island bolster security to prevent repeats of deadly pharmacy holdups in 2011. On New Year's Eve, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent was shot to death in Seaford in a moment of confusion after a pharmacy robbery. The holdup man was also killed. That shooting came months after four people were shot to death inside a Medford pharmacy on Father's Day by a man who stole painkillers.

Schneiderman said that statewide, the number of prescriptions for all narcotic painkillers has increased from 16.6 million in 2007 to nearly 22.5 million in 2010.

Police ask anyone with information about the Carle Place pharmacy burglary to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477. All calls will be kept confidential.

With Sid Cassese

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