Man arrested in connection with string of prescription pill thefts

Posted at 5:13 PM, Apr 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-24 19:16:14-04

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah -- A man was arrested in connection with a string of suspected burglaries after he allegedly broke into a Saratoga Springs home looking for prescription drugs.

Randy Christensen, 34, allegedly broke into a home on Sunday he thought was empty, but he came face to face with a teenager. Christensen fled, and the teen called his father and police were notified. The teen helped police identify Christensen, who was arrested on Monday for allegedly burglarizing nearly a dozen homes.

Christensen told police that he had been breaking into homes for months. He would wait for neighbors to leave for church on Sunday, and then he would enter unlocked homes and ransack medicine cabinets searching for prescription pain pills.

Residents of the quiet neighborhood, like Bradley Engh, were stunned to hear about the thefts.

“It's kind of eye-opening,” he said. “It makes me a little more cautious about making sure locks are locked at night."

Detective Nick Stidham, Saratoga Springs Police Department, said the suspect is connected to multiple incidents.

“There's numerous cases at this point involving him with much the same details,” he said.

Stidham said Christensen admitted to the crimes when detectives located him.

"During the interview it came out that he was suffering from addiction to prescription pills, and he was using unlocked homes to get in and try to get medications,” he said.

Police urged residents to use caution and be certain to lock their homes. Police said Christensen was only taking prescription pain pills from the homes he targeted, so there may be some victims who don’t even know they were stolen from. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim or who has information about the thefts is encouraged to contact police at 801-766-6503.

The incident serves as a reminder for a nationwide program sponsored by the DEA that seeks to eliminate prescription drug abuse. The National Take Back Initiative allows people to safely and securely dispose of unused medications, so they don’t end up getting abused. The take back day is Saturday; click here to find a collection site near you.

More information about prescription drug abuse can be found at Utah’s Use Only as Directed website.