Man charged with donning scrubs, stealing drugs

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Associated Press

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Washington state man is charged with donning scrubs, a surgical mask and a hospital identification badge to steal drugs from a "crash cart" at a Missoula hospital.

Nicholas Norman Schelin, 28, of Spokane, is charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor theft. Justice of the Peace John Odlin set Schelin's bail at $25,000 on Thursday after prosecutors said he had four previous felony convictions.

Prosecutors said Schelin left a treatment room in the St. Patrick Hospital emergency department early Thursday, took the scrubs and an identification badge and was stuffing items from the cart into his pockets when an employee saw him.

When the worker asked him what he was doing, "the male shoved the ID badge in her face and made up some reason to be removing the items — telling her he needed more supplies," Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul wrote in his affidavit

The woman knew the man wasn't her co-worker and led him to an area with more people with the promise of finding more supplies and then whispered to someone to call security. The man fled when a co-worker asked out loud: "Why do you need security?"

Police arrested Schelin a few blocks away inside a church courtyard.

Investigators said he took three syringes, a vial of epinephrine and two diazepam cartridges along with exam gloves, two rolls of tape and the ID badge.

Schelin offered several reasons for his trip to the hospital, saying he took drugs for his infant daughter who was sick at home with her mother in Spokane, first saying that she had leukemia and then saying she had pneumonia, court records said. He also said he came to the hospital because he uses heroin and oxycodone and wanted to get clean.

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