A nurse at a Waseca nursing home is alleged to have stolen prescription pain medications while at work and replaced the pills with other drugs.
Mary Ann VanVeldhuizen, 31, of Waseca, was charged Dec. 31 with third-degree possession of narcotics, felony theft and criminal neglect, after telling Waseca Police investigators that she took prescription painkillers from bubble packs and refilled them with other medications.
Police were called to Lakeshore Inn Nursing Home Dec. 28, according to a complaint filed in Waseca County court. According to the complaint, another nurse first noticed that a large number of bubble packs were taped shut using a procedure normally followed when medications are incorrectly released from the sealed packets.
VanVeldhuizen reportedly told the home’s directors that the drawer on the medications cart was open when she had a diabetic reaction and passed out, causing several packets to break open and the pills to fall out. She replaced the pills, she said, and taped them shut per procedure.
The directors then noticed that several of the packets contained pills different than those that hadn’t been opened, allegedly finding 40 missing oxycodone pills had been replaced. Some of the pills were reportedly taken from a resident. It could not be determined where other medications, not used at LakeShore, came from, according to the report.
VanVeldhuizen told investigators she ingested the pills over the last eight to 10 days, taking about four each day. She denied providing pills to anyone else and said she replaced the missing meds with alternative pills used to treat other symptoms.
Her next appearance in court is set for March 3.
In other reports:
• John Edwin McIntyre, 44, of Waseca, was charged Dec. 21 with making threats, a felony, as well as failing to submit to a chemical test and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
According to court records, officers were called Dec. 12 to a local bar after a man said he stopped an intoxicated McIntyre from driving. Officers found McIntyre outside the running vehicle, and reported he appeared intoxicated. Officers attempted to administer a field sobriety test, but McIntyre said he his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder did not allow him to complete a portion of the test. He then refused to take another part of the test.
A preliminary breath test indicated McIntyre had a blood alcohol level of .178, more than twice the legal limit.
McIntyre was arrested and taken to the Waseca County Jail. While there, McIntyre reportedly threatened to kill the officer. His first appearance in court is Jan. 19.
McIntyre has a lengthy criminal history, with several convictions for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
• April Lynn Mathias, 39, of Waseca, was charged Jan. 5 with fifth-degree possession of oxycodone and misdemeanor theft after a reported shoplifting.
The store manager reportedly told responding officers Dec. 18 that she confronted Mathias about the alleged theft, but was concerned because Mathias, who was in the store office, appeared to be under the influence.
Mathias reportedly confessed to stealing a pair of tweezers and grooming scissors and putting them in her purse, then agreed to let the officer search her handbag. Inside, the officer reported finding two oxycodone pills which did not belong to Mathias. Mathias then told the officer that she bought the pills from a friend in Mankato for about $20.
She’s set to appear in court Jan. 19.
Published by Southernminn.com