Janitor accused of stealing prescription drugs from Public Works employees

Samantha Salcedo arrested on 4 counts of theft of narcotics

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ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – A member of the janitorial crew that cleaned the Atlantic Beach Department of Public Works was arrested last week after police said she stole prescription drugs from employees.

Samantha Salcedo, 26, is charged with four counts of theft of narcotics. 

According to the arrest report, employees reported several times that drugs were missing, starting Sept 27.

Officers looked at surveillance video. Police said they noticed Salcedo was the only person in the building from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and was doing minimal cleaning.

"There are cameras in the building, as are in most city buildings. We were able to look at the building during the time it went missing," said Cmdr. Tiffany Layson, with the Atlantic Beach Police Department, told News4Jax on Tuesday. 

In the belief that she was stealing the prescription drugs, according to the report, Atlantic Beach police set up surveillance and counted the number of pills in one staffer’s bottle. There were 43. They counted three pills in another staffer’s bottle. When Salcedo left the office with a black plastic bag, she was detained. There were 12 pills in the bag, the report shows. Police said they checked the bottles, finding there were only 33 pills in one bottle and just one pill in the other.

Salcedo admitted she took the pills to get rid of them, saying "pain pills ruin people’s lives," the report stated.

She also admitted to taking snacks, candy, bottled water and toilet paper, according to police.

Police said there is a lesson to be learned.

"Take medication home. Keep it in your personal belongings. If you have to leave it at work, lock it up or lock your door -- anything you can do to minimize people getting their hands on it," Layson said.

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