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Pinellas jail clerk stole prescription drugs from inmates

Tampa Bay Times,
BYLINE: Weston Phippen, Times Staff Writer

Pinellas County, FL

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies arrested a property clerk who worked at the jail, accusing him of taking prescription pills from inmates.

Alexander Lansky, 26, was arrested Tuesday on five counts of grand theft and five counts of possession of prescription pills.

Since February, Lansky stole pills from inmates' property bags, deputies said. All the pills were legally prescribed to the inmates and were to be returned upon their release, authorities said.

The investigation began last week after an inmate bonded out of jail and found half of the oxycodone from his prescription bottle missing.

Detectives played back the day's surveillance video, which showed Lansky prying open a bag from the property area, disappearing from camera view, and returning to place the bag into storage, sheriff's officials said.

Investigators then found another instance of an inmate missing pills. This time, a man discovered he had lost all 87 oxycodone pills from his property bag as he was being released.

On Tuesday, detectives interviewed Lansky, who they say admitted to stealing more than 150 pills from five inmates. Lansky told authorities he has a prescription pill addiction and did not sell any of the stolen pills.

Lansky has resigned from his post as property clerk, authorities said, and was held at the Pinellas County Jail Tuesday night on $20,000 bail.

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