Crime

State suspends Keys pharmacy tech following plea to stealing pills

A Key West pharmacy technician who admitted to stealing about 1,000 pills had her license suspended Oct. 12 by the Florida Department of Health.

Amy Catherine Topolski, 37, worked at the CVS Pharmacy on Truman Avenue when she was arrested June 10 at 4:07 p.m. on two felony counts of drug possession and one misdemeanor petty-theft count.

According to the arrest report, Rodolfo Vidal, CVS' loss prevention manager, had been investigating missing narcotics or a few months before narrowing the search down to Topolski. Before calling police, he questioned her about missing pills.

"When I asked her, she pulled 11 pills out of her pants pocket. That's when I called you guys," Vidal told police.

According to the state Health Department's Oct. 12 report, Topolski admitted to stealing, over five months, about 500 Tylenol No. 4 pills and 500 pills of Soma, a prescription drug used to treat muscle pain.

The pharmacy's prescription manager had been checking the inventory of Tylenol in the computer against what was on the shelf and kept coming up short.

"I stand on my feet all day long, I need them," Topolski told Key West police officer David Hall.

"Ms. Topolski's behavior in stealing approximately 1,000 Soma and Tylenol No. 4 pills over a period of five months demonstrates that she is lacking the judgment and moral character needed to practice as a registered pharmacy technician," state Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong wrote in the report.

CVS Pharmacy spokesman Mike DeAngelis declined to comment on the length of Topolski's employment, citing employee privacy rules.

"This matter is not reflective of the values and professionalism of our pharmacy technicians, who play an important role in supporting our pharmacists," DeAngelis said via e-mail.

Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones put Topolski on probation Sept. 21 as a result of the June arrest. She had her pharmacy technician license issued on Nov. 4, 2014, with a Washington Street address.

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