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Drugs stolen from hospital EMS room in latest Va. theft

Medications were stolen in five break-ins over a week in March; this latest theft was from boxes used to replenish supplies

By Margaret Matray
The Virginian-Pilot

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A month after medications were stolen from ambulances at two rescue stations, more drugs have been taken from Emergency Medical Services - this time from a locker at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital.

A hospital pharmacy technician was replenishing the boxes in the EMS room at the hospital last week when she noticed one of them was open and narcotics were missing, according to a search warrant filed in Circuit Court. Morphine, Valium and Ativan were among the drugs taken, according to the document.

To access the lockers, an EMS member must get a key from an on-duty emergency room nurse, who has to log into a secure computer system to get it, according to the search warrant.

The EMS room is where emergency responders exchange used drug boxes for new ones.

Medications were stolen in five break-ins at the General Booth rescue station and the Courthouse station on Princess Anne Road over a week in March. The boxes, stored in locked cabinets, are used in emergency vehicles throughout the region.

Crews have increased security procedures since the break-ins, including more frequent equipment checks, EMS spokesman Ed Brazle said.

EMS conducted an audit last week to ensure no other drugs were stolen. No break-ins were discovered, but some vials needed further investigation because it wasn't immediately clear whether they had been tampered with, Brazle said.

"We're looking at every angle," he said.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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