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Paramedic charged with drug theft

A White Bear Lake, Minn., paramedic was charged Wednesday with theft of a controlled substance after police say she stole narcotics out of her ambulance.

Christy Rose O'Neil, 31, told police she used the drugs because she was in pain from a miscarriage, according to the criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court.

Events unfolded this way, according to the complaint:

The White Bear Lake Fire Department contacted police to report that morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, were missing from an ambulance at the fire station at 4701 U.S. 61 N. To prevent further thefts, they installed an electronic coded punch lock on the ambulance drug cabinet, to record who accessed the drugs.

Officials began to suspect O'Neil because she seemed to be under the influence of drugs at times, and colleagues saw her on one occasion trying to get into the drug cabinet using various combinations.

O'Neil told police she had taken the drugs only once but then said she had gone into the cabinet several times over a number of weeks - and also took equipment like intravenous setups and needles, according to the complaint. At times, she used pliers to try to get into the locked cabinet.

She is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 22.

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