Quick arrest

Published 10:41 am Thursday, December 22, 2016

AHOSKIE – It may go down in history as the fastest larceny case ever solved by the Ahoskie Police Department.

Melanie Elizabeth Smith, 40, of 101 South Main Street, Winton, was arrested within minutes after the Ahoskie Police were first made aware that prescription drug forms were missing from the office of a local dentist.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said APD Captain Michele Garrett and APD Detective Justin Farmer answered a 3 p.m. call on Dec. 14 from the dentist who reported the crime.

“Captain Garrett and Detective Farmer were speaking with the staff at the dentist office and had been there for only five minutes when they received a call from an individual working in the pharmacy at the Wal Mart Super Center here in Ahoskie regarding what appeared to be an illegal prescription form that had just been passed in their pharmacy,” Fitzhugh said.

The Police Chief stated that his two officers immediately traveled to Wal Mart where they witnessed an individual that matched the description of a female suspect who was at the dentist office.

“After making contact with the female suspect, my two officers accompanied her outside the store and to her vehicle,” Fitzhugh said. “The woman was questioned and she handed over the bottle of medication that was just filled at the Wal Mart pharmacy. She also surrendered four blank prescription sheets she had taken from the dentist office.”

Fitzhugh said five sheets were taken from the prescription pad.

However, the theft of the prescription sheets was not the end of the case.

“My officers noticed that the woman’s clothing was bulging outward,” Fitzhugh noted. “She was asked to remove what was there at which time we learned that she had hidden several shoplifted items in her pants.”

Additionally, another prescription bottle, one that did not bear her name, was also found in her possession.

Smith was charged with two felonies – one count each of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by forgery, and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, and one misdemeanor count each of simple possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, larceny, and possession of stolen property.

She was jailed under a $25,000 secured bond and made her initial appearance on Dec. 16 in Hertford County District Court.

“I thank Captain Garrett and Detective Farmer for their quick and professional work in solving this crime,” Fitzhugh said.



About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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