DONIPHAN, MO (KAIT) – Authorities in southeast Missouri Tuesday said more people have been filing false police reports regarding prescription drugs. According to Sergeant Joe Joiner, there have been 174 theft reports so far in 2010. Of those, he said 22 have been medication thefts. He said that number is unusual for Doniphan.
"I think the last arrest I made was about a month ago. A female had altered her prescription and tried to up her dosage I think about three times," said Joiner.
Joiner said local pharmacies oftentimes deal with the same criminals police deal with every month. He said many file false police reports to get a prescription refilled.
"The first time someone comes in and report their medication stolen, if I have no reason to call them a liar or think that they did something wrong, I will provide them with a copy of the report so they can go back to their doctor and obtain a replacement prescription," said Joiner.
Joiner said police have gotten so many false reports; many times police won't take them.
"After the first time, if they come back again, and I don't care whether it's been two or three years down the road, they do not get a copy of the report and they can go see their doctor and that's up to the doctor at that point," said Joiner. "A lot of our reports that we take are people that have filled their prescription, five to ten minutes later, went to the grocery store and left their vehicles unlocked, went inside and when they come back out, their prescriptions have been stolen."
Region 8 News reached out to several doctors and pharmacists Tuesday. Most all of them said that prescription drug abuse is a problem.
"I mean I'm going to assume you should have some personal responsibility as an adult and you're given a controlled substance, you are responsible for it at the time. You're responsible for its safekeeping," said Joiner. "Some of these thefts are legitimate. I have no trouble believing that, but there are a percentage of them that are obviously false and it's become a problem."