Spokane Police arrest pharmacy tech pill thief

Ofc. Teresa Fuller, 509.209.7188


Friday, July 19, 2013 at 11 a.m.


Incident Number: 13-156363

Spokane Police Detectives arrested Paul A Martsin (10/29/88), a pharmacist technician at SHMC after he was witnessed on surveillance cameras stealing 1000 Hydrocodone pills and codeine cough syrup from the hospital pharmacy. During the course of this extensive investigation, in cooperation with Sacred Heart Medical Center (SHMC), SPD detectives seized a large quantity of Hydrocodone pills, empty pill bottles from previous thefts, a large quantity of cash, and five firearms (rifles and pistols) from Martsin's residence. Martsin was booked into the Spokane County Jail for Possession of Hydrocodone with Intent to Deliver and Possession of Codeine with Intent to Deliver. Further charges may be pending.

In May of this year Sacred Heart Medical Center (SHMC) contacted the Spokane Police Department to report large discrepancies in Hydrocodone inventory with concerns theft of the pills may be occurring. Detectives of SPD/SIU were asked to investigate. In the course of the investigation, it was learned that the tracking software used in the pharmacy was being manipulated by an employee to cover the thefts. With the assistance of SHMC, Paul A Martsin (10/29/88), a pharmacist technician, was determined to be a suspect.

Detectives installed surveillance equipment in the area where the thefts occurred to assist with the investigation. On July 17, after a lengthy amount of follow-up investigation, Detectives were able to view Martsin stealing 1,000 Hydrocodone pills and two bottles of codeine cough syrup. Martsin was arrested before he left SHMC.

Detectives secured search warrants for Martsin's residence, storage unit, and banking records. Evidence recovered thus far does not indicate Martsin was a user of the pills. Detectives seized a large quantity of Hydrocodone pills, empty pill bottles from previous thefts, a large quantity of cash, and five firearms (rifles and pistols) from his apartment.

An investigation this involved takes a great deal of time, patience, planning and co-ordination. SPD worked closely with the staff and administration of SHMC. SHMC has added new software and security measures to prevent future thefts such as this one since the incident.



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