Prescription drug Darvocet stollen from Rite Aid
Officers at the Moorpark Police Department said they were frustrated to learn during the investigation of a recent burglary at a drug store that the same store had a theft in January that was not reported to police.
Security personnel from the Rite Aid drug store, 3941 Spring Road, told officers after a March 22 pharmacy break-in that hidden security cameras were installed after a theft in January, Sgt. Robert Thomas of Moorpark Police said. He said he was told that controlled narcotics were taken then as well.
"Technically (Rite Aid) did file a formal report because they brought it to our attention on the 25th of March. We incorporated (that information into this investigation)," Thomas said.
Rite Aid spokeswoman Robyn Blane said security personnel made a report, as required, to the Drug Enforcement Administration. She said the theft in January was discovered during an inventory and that no forced entry was found.
"Loss Prevention Manager Robert Palm for the Los Angeles and Central California region said that the proper procedures were actually followed," Blane said.
She would not say what was taken in the January theft or how much, only that it involved pharmaceuticals.
Detective Mike Rompal said Rite Aid valued the drugs taken in January at about $7,000.
"When you think about it, though, some of this medication is very expensive; $7,000 can get achieved fairly quickly," Rompal said.
He said police couldn't investigate that crime because too much time had passed, but, still, police would have wanted to know about the theft because it involved narcotics.
"There's a difference between whether there's a crime and whether we can investigate," he said.
"We need to know it ... so we can let the patrol deputies be aware of it. Any information is better than no information."
On Tuesday, police arrested Ian Gulbin, 20, at his parents' home in Moorpark. Gulbin is a former employee of Rite Aid who was fired about three weeks before the burglary, Thomas said.
He is being held in the Ventura County Jail on $100,000 bail on suspicion of burglary, sale of pharmaceutical medication and possession for sale of pharmaceutical medication, and his arraignment is scheduled for this afternoon.
A second man is at large while police continue to investigate the burglary that happened after the pharmacy had closed but while the store was still open.
Police estimate controlled pharmaceuticals worth about $30,000 were taken, including the painkillers Vicodin, Darvocet and OxyContin, which is used as a heroin substitute and runs about $20 a pill on the street.
The investigation is being conducted by a task force made up of detectives and officers from the Moorpark Police Department, Thousand Oaks Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
Thomas said there is no way of knowing whether Gulbin, who confessed to the March 22 burglary and said he distributed and sold the drugs immediately after the crime, was involved with January's theft.
"(Gulbin has) admitted to us that he has taken medication from the pharmacy while working there on several different occasions. He denied the big theft in January," Thomas said. "There's no way that we are going to be able to link him to that theft."