Pharmacy tech arrested for stealing drugs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Pelham police arrested a Walgreen&8217;s employee last week for stealing a large quantity of prescription drugs.

Kevin Jarrett, a pharmacy technician at Walgreen&8217;s on Helena Road in Pelham, was booked into the Shelby County Jail on March 25.

Jarrett was released on bond the following day.

Officers were able to obtain a felony warrant for Jarrett after receiving information from Walgreen&8217;s Loss Prevention Department, according to Pelham Police Lt. Larry Palmer.

&8220;The drugs were stolen over a period of time. We believe most of the drugs have been recovered,&8221; he said.

Among the stolen items were narcotic painkillers, Vicodin, Hydrocodone and Lortab; anti-anxiety medication, Xanax, as well as its generic equivalent, Alprazolam; and the sedative hypnotic drug, Ambien, which is used as a sleep aid.

&8220;All of these medications can be habit forming. They also distort your ability to think straight.

&8220;A lot of people get hooked on these drugs,&8221; said Dr. Mike Kenrach, associate professor of pharmacy at Samford University.

Lortab was the most widely prescribed generic drug by doctors in the country last year with more than 101 million prescriptions written.

It was prescribed twice as much as the No. 2 drug, amoxicillin, an antibiotic.

Police estimated that some 530 pills valued at about $2,000 were stolen from the Pelham Walgreen&8217;s location.

Palmer said the investigation is closed as far as his department is concerned but as a matter of procedure the case was referred to the investigative unit of the Alabama Board of Pharmacy