Tonawanda News

The City

May 7, 2014

City woman allegedly stole painkillers

Tonawanda News — A former Rite Aid employee who allegedly stole hundreds of pills from the Niagara Street pharmacy surrendered to City of Tonawanda police on Tuesday afternoon, Capt. Fredric Foels said.

Becky A. Ralston, 40, of Fletcher Street, was arraigned on eight counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and eight counts of petit larceny after surrendering with her attorney, Joseph LaTona. 

Ralston, who was employed in the pharmacy department and refilled prescriptions, is accused of stealing hundreds of Lortab pain pills that went missing from the store.

“We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of pain pills, maybe 1,000,” Foels said. “It is a huge quantity.”

The investigation began in December and involved Rite Aid security and Tonawanda police. Authorities recently issued arrest warrants after the probe was complete, Foels said. Police are not sure what Ralston may have been doing with the stolen pills. 

“She said she suffered from severe migraines, but that wasn’t necessarily a reason why she was allegedly talking the pills,” Foels said. “There is no indication of whether she was selling them herself.” 

Lortab is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, and is available only through a prescription. The drug can easily lead to addiction and is often abused. 

“It’s a pill of choice that is on the streets and the black market,” Foels said. “It’s a hot commodity.” 

Foels said that Ralston has no criminal history and has not been arrested for other drug charges in the past. 

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