Woman Arrested for Stealing Pain Patch off Elderly Patient

By Brennan McCord

Apr 26, 2010 3:12pm

ABC News' Brennan McCord reports:

A woman was arrested in Greeley, Colorado for allegedly attempting to steal a pain patch off an at risk elderly patient at the Good Samaritan Society Bonell Community on Thursday.

Hillary Hartwig, 35, was a former physical therapy assistant at the facility and “knew the ins and outs of the process in taking the patch on and off” according to Sergeant Joe Tymkowych of the Greeley Police Department. 

“The patients knew her there and so it was easy for her to have access.  She was in the process of taking the patch off the patient when someone walked in and saw what was going on and she franticly put the patch back on the skin of the patient,” Tymkowych told ABC News.

According to the police investigation, the pain patch that Hartwig is accused of attempting to steal was a Fentanyl pain patch which is more powerful than the drug codeine, and is used to to treat chronic pain and is also commonly used in pre-medical procedures.

Hartwig was using the pain patches for her own use according to the investigation.  According to Tymkowych said that she had been stealing pain patches for weeks. 

Hartwig has been released on a $20,000 bond and formal charges will be filed on May 3rd.  Hartwig has not entered a plea.

Return to Cuomo on the Case: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/

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