Prescription Pill Theft at CVS Pharmacy
Prescription drug abusers will do just about anything to get their hands on medications. For one Lake City man, police say it meant stealing from a CVS pharmacy while on the job. Whether the pills are used for a personal addiction, resell on the streets, or both, it's a growing epidemic that's not going away.
Local, state, and Federal agencies have banned together to combat this prescription pill drug abuse problem, which is more rampant in Florida than in any other state. Police say the dilemma, is these are legal medications that are being abused by criminals.
Capt. John Blanchard of the Lake City Police Department says criminals are finding more ways to get their hands on prescription pills. Blanchard says; "one of the biggest ways people access prescription medicine is by going over to other people's house, whether it's friends or family, and taking them off the shelves."
A CVS employee reported empty prescription bottles in the store bathroom on Wednesday and police say surveillance video shows Demetruis Whitfield as the pill thief. Whitfield was doing inventory at the CVS and was not a store employee. Police found four prescription bottles on Whitfield totaling over 500 pills.
According to retired University of Florida professor Paul Doering, the pills street value would be close to 4,000 dollars. Doering says; "the resale value on the street we're talking about some of these pills selling for five dollars, eight dollars a pill, maybe even more.
Whitfield was arrested and charged with grand theft. He also has two active warrants from Leon County for failure to appear in court. He is being held in the Columbia County Jail on 9,000 dollars bond.
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