Charlotte County home health nurse accused of stealing patient’s medication

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — A 39-year-old home health nurse was arrested after surveillance footage appeared to show her stealing medication, the Punta Gorda Police Department said.

Jessica Brown allegedly stole a large portion of her patient’s anti-anxiety pills while in the patient’s home.

Dianna Barbata hired Brown to help care for her husband, who has dementia.

On Dec. 31,  Barbata reported that a recently filled prescription of Lorazepam was missing a significant amount of pills, saying the only people who were in the home at the time were her son and Brown, who visited three days a week.

Surveillance equipment was installed in the kitchen near where the medications were stored to find out who was stealing the pills, detectives said.

When Brown left the home, it was discovered that 13 more pills were missing from the prescription bottle.

Police pulled Brown over as she was leaving the home, at which point she confessed to the theft. She was found to be in possession of seven pills that matched the pills from the bottle. Brown also admitted she took six pills while at the home, detectives said.

Brown was bonded out of the Charlotte County Jail.

Synergy Home Care, a Venice-based home health care service, said Brown is no longer employed with the company, but declined to comment any further on the matter.

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