Woman Stole Pills from Open Houses, Realtors Say

By Kelly Burch 09/11/19

An Ohio woman has been accused of going to open houses to steal from homeowners' medicine cabinets.

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Homeowners considering hosting an open house might think that the worst thing they’ll have to deal with is nosey neighbors poking around, but law enforcement in Ohio says that people trying to sell their houses encountered something much more egregious: a woman who attended open houses just so she could steal prescription pills. 

Officials from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office told 10TV that Amanda Haislar spent three weeks going to open houses and raiding the medicine cabinets. Authorities were tipped off by real estate agents who noticed Haislar’s suspicious behavior, said Detective Sergeant Mike Weiner with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

“We were contacted by a couple of realtors that were aware of what was going on,” Weiner said. 

Catching Her in the Act

To catch Haislar in the act, police set up cameras in a home that was scheduled to have an open house, which they suspected Haislar would attend. The video evidence showed that Haislar headed right for the medicine cabinets in the home. 

“She was looking for prescription medication—hydrocodone, Vicodin,” Weiner said. “It was clear to me that she knew exactly what she was looking for. She knew where the items were located. It was a direct path to where she knew she wanted to go.”

To cover her tracks, Haislar replaced the prescription pills with aspirin, potentially putting the homeowners at risk because they were not getting their proper medications. 

A Result of the Drug Crisis

Weiner said that Haislar’s actions show just how bad the opioid epidemic is, and the lengths that people will go to access prescription pills. Ohio has been one of the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. Although Weiner hasn’t seen people take advantage of open houses before, he has seen the other ways that opioid addiction influences someone to break the law. 

“In my experience as an investigator with the Sheriff's office, this is the first time I've seen this specific tactic used by a person to obtain these drugs,” he said. However, it’s far from the first time that he’s seen someone turn to illegal means to support their addiction. 

“All the other crime that is associated with it, property theft, stuff like that, all goes up to support those addictions,” Weiner said.

It’s not clear whether Haislar was selling the pills or using them for personal use. She was arrested, but it was not clear what charges she will face for stealing the pills. 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

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