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Charges: Pharmacist Stole 500+ Pills From South Metro Walgreens Stores

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 30-year-old Burnsville woman is accused of stealing more than 500 prescription drug pills from Walgreens stores in the south metro, according to charges filed in Dakota County Court.

Tessaca Lynn Sanchez was charged with two counts of theft of a controlled substance in connection with the case. Authorities say the thefts happened in March and April in both Burnsville and Lakeville.

According to the charges, Burnsville police were called just after 12:30 p.m. on April 17 to a report of an employee theft at the Walgreens at 14700 Lac Lavon Drive in Burnsville. A worker told officers that one of their employees admitted to stealing controlled substances from the pharmacy. The employee, identified as Sanchez, was arrested.

The complaint states the employee told police Sanchez was hired in February to work as an assistant in the pharmacy department. Sanchez also worked at another Walgreens store in Lakeville, and a store in Burnsville.

Sanchez was working at the store of County Road 42 in Burnsville on April 4 when surveillance video showed her placing a wall of plastic totes to obscure the camera view. She then started filling a prescription for 60 oxycodone five milligram pills. She was then seen dumping them between a scale and label printer before finishing the prescription. She then cleaned up the area, and was putting the pills she dumped into her pocket.

The complaint states an employee at the Lac Lavon Walgreens located a pile of prescription drug pills under a scale Sanchez had been using on April 11.

Authorities conducted a search at all three stores Sanchez worked at, and found more than 500 pillsto be missing. They included Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Oxycodone and Tramadol.

Sanchez was confronted about the pill thefts on April 17, and admitted to taking 70 Hydrocodone and Vicodin pills from the store off 160th Street starting on March 18, and 70 Hydrocodone pills from the Lac Lavon store. Sanchez denied taking pills from the County Road 42 location. She admitted she didn't have a prescription for the pills and took them for personal use.

Sanchez faces up to 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.

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