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Pill theft alleged at nursing center

Staffer allegedly pilfered meds to feed addiction

An assisted-living center employee is accused of stealing pain medication from one of its residents.

Andrea R. Hartup, 34, of New Haven was charged Friday with theft and was released from the Allen County Jail on her own recognizance.

According to court documents, the director of The Hearth at Sycamore Village assisted-living center on West County Line Road South in western Allen County reported the theft after an in-house investigation revealed a prescription for hydrocodone, a pain medication, and a medication disposal form went missing during Hartup’s shift.

Employees are required to have two nurses witness the disposal of narcotics and sign a form together stating that the drugs are properly disposed of, documents say.

Another nurse told police she had signed off on a medication disposal form for Hartup. No charges have been filed against that nurse.

The director told police that Sycamore Village interviewed eight people who had access to a medical cart and requested a urine sample from each employee. Hartup refused to provide a sample, court files said.

In October, police interviewed Hartup, who said said she had stolen the hydrocodone. She took the drug for personal use, court records said.

Hartup told police she did not sell any of the 143 pills and that she had struggled with addiction issues for years. It was unclear in court documents whether she was still employed at Sycamore Village.