UF Student Charged With Grand Theft From His Job At Walgreens

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Matthew Lamperski, 21, of Ocala, was arrested on Saturday afternoon on 710 charges of grand theft of controlled substance at the Walgreens located at 7520 W. Newberry Road.

Each charge corresponds to a single pill stolen from the pharmacy within the past year.

He was released Sunday from the Alachua County Jail on his own recognizance and entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Pillar on Saturday responded to a call from Jowanda Smothers, who told Pillar that she confronted Lamperski, according to the arrest report. Lamperski worked at the location as a pharmacy technician.

She discovered 20 oxycodone pills missing from a prescription he was handling in the pharmacy on Friday, the report said.

Pillar wrote in the arrest report that Lamperski admitted to Smothers that he took the 20 pills, as well as approximately 700 other controlled substances, including hydrocodone and Percocet.

Lamperski completed a voluntary statement for Walgreens admitting to the theft and an approximate count of substances stolen over the past year, the report said.

After Pillar read him his Miranda rights, the deputy said Lamperski admitted to taking the listed amounts of controlled substances. He told Pillar that after a major back injury a few years ago, he had become addicted to pain pills to the point that he would enter withdrawals if he did not consume them.

Lamperski and his attorney, Kristopher A. Vanderlaan, did not return phone calls on Tuesday seeking comment. Vanderlaan’s assistant said he would not be available to answer questions on Tuesday.

According to the University of Florida student directory, Lamperski is currently registered as a student.

About Santiago Chacin

Santiago Chacin is a general assignment reporter for WUFT. He can be reached at news@wuft.org or (352)294-6397

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