Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 13, 2009

Rite Aid robbed

Woman armed with knife charged with taking medication

VALDOSTA — A Valdosta woman was arrested Monday morning after robbing a Rite Aid store at knifepoint.

Valdosta Police Department Lt. Bobbi McGraw said that 37-year-old Kari Eutzler has been charged with armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony.

At approximately 9:45 a.m., Eutzler allegedly entered the Rite Aid in the 3200 block of North Oak Street Extension, displayed a knife when she got to the pharmacy area of the store and forcefully took medication, McGraw said. After threatening employees with the knife, the suspect exited the store with the medication.

No injuries were reported.

Valdosta Police Department officers were dispatched to the store shortly after the robbery was reported. Employees gave police a description of the offender and the direction in which she fled.

Valdosta Police Officer Carl Dudley, who was in the area, located and apprehended Eutzler within minutes. The knife used in the robbery, as well as the medication taken from the pharmacy, were recovered from Eutzler’s possession, McGraw said.

A few hours after Eutzler’s arrest, she was transported to South Georgia Medical Center for observation after she claimed to have ingested several OxyContin pills. McGraw said that it does appear that the suspect ingested some pills, but authorities are not sure how many.

Eutzler was being treated in the emergency room at press time.

Her condition was not known.

OxyContin is a prescription painkiller used for moderate to high pain relief associated with injuries, bursitis, dislocations, fractures, neuralgia, arthritis, lower back pain, and pain associated with cancer, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. OxyContin contains oxycodone, the medication's active ingredient, in a timed-release tablet. Oxycodone products have been illicitly abused for the past 30 years.

The introduction in 1996 of OxyContin — commonly known on the street as OC, OX, Oxy, Oxycotton, Hillbilly heroin, and kicker — led to a marked escalation of its abuse as reported by drug abuse treatment centers, law enforcement personnel, and health care professionals, according to the DEA. As with most opiates, oxycodone abuse may lead to dependence and tolerance. Acute overdose of oxycodone can produce severe respiratory depression, skeletal muscle flaccidity, cold and clammy skin, reduction in blood pressure and heart rate, coma, respiratory arrest, and death.

• Trafficking Trends

Pharmaceuticals such as OxyContin can be diverted in many ways. The most popular form is known as "doctor shopping," where individuals, who may or may not have legitimate illnesses requiring a doctor's prescription for controlled substances, visit many doctors to acquire large amounts of controlled substances. Other diversion methods include pharmacy diversion and improper prescribing practices by physicians.

Source: National Drug Intelligence Center.

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