Four individuals were arrested Friday after allegedly buying an over the counter drug for recreational use and then returning the medicine's empty boxes for a refund.
Covington Police Lieutenant Wendell Wagstaff said the theft and use of such medication is an ongoing issue in the city. Several arrests are made each week for use or theft of legal drugs, Wagstaff said.
On Friday, Officer Mitch Nicholson was dispatched to the CVS Pharmacy on U.S. Highway 278 in reference to a theft by deception.
The manager, Patrick Wilson, stated that a white male and female had entered and purchased a box of the drug coricidin, which they later returned for a refund. The teller, Christine Bray, said the two subjects had bought and returned the cold medicine several times recently. At one point, the tellers had to tell the suspects the store was out of the drug because they were buying so much of the medicine.
Wilson said he had been curious and opened the returned item to discover the coricidin box had been emptied and then resealed using super glue.
While Nicholson was speaking with Wilson, the manager called the CVS located on Ga. Highway 36 and was told a white female had just bought two boxes of coricidin. As they were on the phone, the manager at the Highway 36 CVS reported a white male had just entered the store and was trying to exchange two boxes of the drug. Nicholson told the manager to stall the man until he could respond to the location.
Once at the CVS, Nicholson saw the suspect, later identified as Dustin Stewart, waiting in line for his refund. Stewart was placed under arrest and the boxes were opened to reveal empty trays.
Officer Gene Nuqui had arrived at the scene and was detaining other suspects in a green F-150 parked in the lot outside. The manager also identified Heather Stewart in the truck.
A search of the F-150 revealed a tube of used superglue and a CVS bag containing 64 coricidin tablets. Despite claims they had done nothing wrong, backseat passengers Rodney Feltman and Tavaris Young were arrested as well.
All four suspects were charged with theft by deception. The managers of the CVS said they wanted to prosecute.