Burglary case shows need to secure pills during home showings

Posted12/28/2014 7:30 AM

Drug-seeking behavior can come in a variety of extremes for heroin addicts trying to get their next fix.

Prostitution and stealing things to resell for drug money are among them, police say. And so is taking opiate pills straight from other people's medicine cabinets.


Maybe post-surgery pills vanish from grandma's bathroom or maybe a home seller notices a prescription bottle is missing after an open house.

A recommendation in a draft action plan developed by 14th District U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren aims to prevent prescription pain pills from being stolen in these ways. The recommendation, on the surface, seems overly specific: "Partner with Realtors and senior facilities to ensure readily available prescription painkillers are more tightly controlled."

But at least one case proves burglaries of prescription painkillers do happen.

A 69-year-old Naperville man and his wife were having an open house in August when a woman came in and showed a RE/MAX business card, Naperville police Sgt. Bill Davis said. The homeowners watched the woman as she went through drawers and the medicine cabinet in the master bedroom. Later, they noticed a prescription bottle containing two Hyrdocodone pills was gone.

Hydrocodone is an opiate, one of the types of pills that can lead people to try heroin, police say.

Davis said this was the first time a burglary of pain pills was reported after a home showing, although he said it could have happened before but not been noticed or reported to police.

"When people are having an open house, they need to secure their medications and other valuables to prevent this from occurring," Davis said.

• This article is part of our "Heroin in the Suburbs: Through Their Eyes" series. For more see http://bit.ly/DailyHeraldHeroinSeries

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