Police say a 26-year-old Burnsville woman working as a home health aide stole more than 150 oxycodone and OxyContin pills from a resident at a senior living facility in Eagan.
Catrina Deloris Elwell, 26, faces one felony count of second-degree burglary and one felony count of theft for her alleged role in the pill theft. If convicted on the second degree burglary charge, she could face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
An administrator at the senior living facility was tipped off by a resident at the facility, who allegedly complained earlier this summer that a prescription pill bottle containing 120 oxycodone pills went missing from her room. The resident told the administrator that another bottle that previously contained 60 Oxycontin pills only had one pill remaining in it.
Both OxyContin and oxycodone—the generic form of OxyContin—are powerful opiates used to manage severe pain. But abuse the pills and other prescription drugs continues to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In response to the apparent theft, the resident's daughter set up a camera in the room on June 25 and stashed another set of pills as bait in a dresser drawer in the room, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Dakota County Attorney's Office.
That day, a home health aide, identified as Elwell, was allegedly caught on tape bending down near the drawer, according to the complaint. Elwell had no reason to be handling the resident's medications, because the resident didn't receive medication services from the facility staff, according to the senior living administrator.
On June 26, the administrator met with Elwell, who allegedly confessed to the theft and provided a written statement to the administrator. During an interview with police investigators, Elwell allegedly admitted that she took four oxycodone pills home after the resident asked her to retrieve some of the medication. But the resident denied asking Elwell to retrieve the pills and told police that she had not given the suspect permission to enter her apartment.