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Police: suspect switched pain meds on old lady

A Washington County woman is facing charges of stealing prescription medications from an elderly woman. Photo: La Verkin City Police

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — Police arrested a Washington County woman this week after she was accused of stealing an elderly woman’s prescriptions. The woman was convicted of a similar crime less than six months ago.

She was formally charged Wednesday with aggravated intentional adult abuse, which is a second-degree felony. She was also charged with drug possession, a class A misdemeanor; and two Class B misdemeanors of theft and possession of a drug in an unlabeled container.

La Verkin police say this isn’t 27-year-old Rya Plumb’s first time being charged with this crime. She previously was convicted less than six months ago of stealing prescription medications. Now, she’s accused of taking an elderly woman’s much-needed oxycodone pills and replacing them with over-the-counter pills.

The victim is reported to be a 93-year-old woman who suffers from a painful condition making it necessary for her to take the high-power drugs. She says Plumb would visit every other week, but would immediately ask to use the restroom after the victim would invite her in.

“She stated Rya is a church member and that is why she comes to visit,” according to a police booking affidavit.

In December, Plumb also reportedly volunteered to pick up the victim’s prescription refills.

The victim began reporting the medication wasn’t working as well as before.

“The victim stated the pills were working less and she keeps running out of them before she is due for a refill,” according to the affidavit. “The victim has been in so much pain that she has broke down crying.”

After examination, police found that the bottle was filled with “acetaminophen not oxycodone,” police wrote. Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain relief, such as Tylenol.

The police then contacted the victim’s doctor, who then agreed to refill the prescription. Plumb again offered to pick up the prescription, despite the pharmacy offering to deliver them.

“Rya arrived at her home with the prescription. The victim was surprised that Rya was able to pick up her prescription. The victim’s friend called me and advised Rya had just delivered the pills. I advised them not to open them and I was on my way to the residence,” the arresting officer wrote.

Officers drafted a warrant and went to Plumb’s home where she muttered she “has messed up again,” according to a press release from the La Verkin City Police. She then led the officer to where the pills were in her closet. Police found a bag with an Acetaminophen bottle with roughly 79 Oxycodone pills inside.

Plumb admitted to swapping them.

The investigation is ongoing and La Verkin Police are urging anyone who believes they are missing their prescribed medications to report.