VA seeing possible prescription drug thefts in the Galesburg area

GALESBURG, Illinois - Once a month, Galesburg resident Robert Stevens gets a delivery in the mail for hydrocodone-acetaminophen from the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

"Usually when they try to deliver it, I'm not here and they leave a pink slip in my mailbox to go down and pick it up," said Stevens.

Back in May, he went to go pick up his medicine from the post office and it was no where to be found.

"I went back the next Monday, they still couldn't find it and at that point, I just kind of wrote it off as a post office blunder," said stevens.

He isn't the only veteran whose pills have gone missing.

Just fifteen minutes up the road in Abingdon, veteran Gary Kilpatrick has had problems with his pills getting delivered.

"I got them on time and I took the lid off and I thought, wait a minute, there's something wrong here," said Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick says he's had pills go missing multiple times."It`s just like they're taking 20 at a time or 21 or 22 at a time out," he said.

Abingdon Police Chief Ken Jones says he's had two cases of veterans reporting missing pills but it's hard to track down.

"There is enough evidence to say something is going on with it," said Jones.

For the veterans affected it's disheartening to know someone may be stealing their prescriptions.

"When you`re taking that away from an individual, for whatever needs it is that you have, it`s kind of sickening," said Stevens.

Bryan Clark, a spokesman for the Iowa City VA, says they have had multiple reports of prescription drug theft in the Galesburg area.

"We have cameras in our pharmacy areas that we can play back any kind of footage that we need to look at that will verify for us that all of the processes that we have in place are being followed," said Clark.

After further investigation the VA says they found no evidence of any tampering or diversion on their end.

A spokesperson for the U.S. postal service says they are looking into possible mail thefts in the Galesburg area and release this statement:

“The vast majority of U.S. Postal Service personnel are dedicated, hard-working public servants dedicated to moving mail to its proper destination who would never consider engaging in any form of criminal behavior.  Mail theft within the Postal Service is not tolerated and if postal employees are alleged to have betrayed the trust of the American people, the special agents in the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General vigorously investigate these matters and work with local, state and federal prosecutors to hold accountable those employees who violate that public trust.”