WINTHROP, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Between pharmacy robberies, home invasions, and shootings, Maine police are seeing a common connection and recent crime: drug dependency.
Winthrop Police say that's the reason four masked men barged in to a 71-year-old woman's home over the weekend, pushing her over and putting her to the floor as they searched her mobile home for prescription drugs.
Police Chief Joseph Young said the four suspects are still at large. They made off with money, but no drugs.
"There are more people that are drug dependent, that are doing desperate things," said Chief Young.
He said the town of Winthrop has seen a 12 percent increase in theft over the last year, and while home invasions are not common, he is seeing them happen around the state more frequently.
"They're happening...and I think it's all drug-related," said Chief Young.
In Lebanon, police are investigating a possible connection to prescription drugs in a shooting on Tuesday.
Investigators say Richard Potorski came home for lunch to find an intruder in his home. The suspect shot Potorski in the shoulder, then stole his car. It was later found abandonded in a Rochester, New Hampshire parking lot.
Investigatos say they are no longer surprised by the bold behavior of Maine criminals.
"As long as there's addicts out there and the economy remains the way it is, I think we'll continue to see it," said Maine State Police Lt. Brian McDonough.
These cases come off a year full of pharmacy robberies. Maine State Police counted an average of at least one pharmacy robbery each week in 2012.
"I think everyone has to be vigilant," said Lt. McDonough, who said the elderly are becoming targets for drug-related crimes.