RUSH TOWNSHIP -- A Mahanoy City woman is charged with stealing nearly 30-thousand prescription pills from her employer.
Jamie Karmonick is accused of stealing the drugs from Alliance Medication Services in Rush Township from September of 2016 through March of this year.
"I used to work in the medical field, so I kind of know exactly how that is and there were people in that job where I used to work who were like crazy when it came to those kind of pills. Like Xanax, Oxycodone, like those are strong,” said Vanessa Patrocinio of Tamaqua.
Karmonick worked as a pharmacy technician at Alliance Medication Services on Mahoning Avenue in Rush Township near Tamaqua.
According to court papers, back in September, she began stealing pills and changing computer records to cover it up.
Investigators say she admitted to the crime, saying she was self-medicating and things got out of control as she tried to deal with ‘stress’ and ‘family problems.’
"She must be high or crazy. She needs to be locked up. She has to pay for what she did,” said Luz Tejada of Tamaqua.
The state attorney general says Karmonick stole pills that have an estimated street value of 565-thousand dollars.
He says drug abuse is at an all-time high and 75 percent of heroin users began drug abuse with prescription pills, like the ones Karmonick is charged with stealing.
"One of those pills can go for 30 dollars on the street, and obviously, all they have to do is crush it up and that's exactly what they used to do where I used to work at, so it's bad,” said Patrocinio.
People worry about thefts like this one making the drug problems even worse where they live.
"I've lived in Tamaqua all my life and I know all about how all the drugs and everything and they're really bad,” said Stephen Carroll.