ST. GEORGE — A LaVerkin woman was arrested Tuesday for allegedly stealing narcotic medication from a 93-year-old woman during a number of visits to her home.
The Washington County Attorneys Office filed charges against Rya Plumb, 26, of LaVerkin, Tuesday evening including one second-degree felony count of adult abuse and three misdemeanor charges of theft, possession of a controlled substance and violation of labeling/packaging of a controlled substance.
The charges stem from an investigation that began Monday when police were called in to investigate a report of the theft of prescription medication involving a 93-year-old woman, LaVerkin Police Sgt. Amber Crouse said.
“This all started with the woman missing medication,” Crouse said. “Basically every month she was running out of her pills.”
Through the course of the investigation, police learned the elderly woman had been talking with a friend about the missing medication. As the two discussed the issue, Plumb’s name came up as a frequent visitor to the home. The elderly woman also told her friend that after the suspect’s visits, her medication would turn up missing, and that Plumb had even offered to pick up and drop off the prescription for her.
The woman’s friend offered to help her monitor the situation, and after speaking to several other people about the issue, a number of them said the suspect would visit their homes asking to use the restroom, “which they all thought was a little strange,” Crouse said.
The elderly woman also reported that even though she was taking the medication as prescribed, it wasn’t alleviating her pain as it had done before. So not only were pills missing from the bottle, but the medication she was left with was also no longer working. It was at that point that the police were called in to investigate.
On Monday, Crouse went to the elderly woman’s home and checked the product number on one of the pills in the bottle, which came back as Tylenol. Crouse then discovered that the entire bottle contained the same over-the-counter medication.
“This woman has a severe medical condition and is in a lot of pain,” Crouse said. “So when she said her medication wasn’t working any longer, we knew why.”
The doctor who prescribed the medication was then contacted. After being advised of the situation by police, the physician sent a second prescription to the pharmacy. Arrangements were then made to have a different pharmacy deliver the medication directly to the woman’s home.
Meanwhile, the suspect called the elderly woman Tuesday morning and asked if she needed her to pick up her medication, Crouse said. The elderly woman told her there was no need to, as the medication was being delivered to her home by the pharmacy.
Before the scheduled delivery, however, Crouse said the suspect went to the pharmacy and was able to pick up the prescription before dropping it off at the elderly woman’s home shortly thereafter.
A short time later, Crouse was advised of the situation and directed the woman to leave the bottle unopened until she got there. The officer arrived to find that instead of containing the medication imprinted on the label, the bottle was filled with Tylenol, leaving the woman without her medication for the next month.
“So all of her medication is gone because it was refilled with Tylenol when it was swapped out,” she said.
At that point, a search warrant was obtained. And during a search of the suspect’s residence, police located the evidence and Plumb was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility.
The suspect was released from jail Wednesday after posting a $13,310 bond.
A similar incident was reported in May in Washington City when officers responded to a home to investigate a report of a residential burglary. The homeowner told police that the suspect, identified as Plumb, had gone into the home and allegedly taken a bottle of prescription drugs valued at $500.
According to the homeowner, Plumb did not have permission to enter the residence at any time, and when confronted, the homeowner said Plumb admitted to going into the home and taking the pills and then agreed to return the medication.
However, when the bottle was returned, it contained only a portion of the medication, and many of the pills were allegedly missing, the officer noted in the report.
During an interview the suspect admitted to entering the home without permission, taking the bottle of medication and returning it with pills missing.
Plumb was arrested and transported to jail where she was booked on second-degree felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.
Two months later, the suspect entered into a plea in abeyance where she pleaded guilty to the charges that would be dismissed if she complied with the terms of the agreement that was to be reviewed in July 2022 and was fined $1,043.
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