Man allegedly stole medication

FAIRMONT — A Swea City, Iowa, man is facing a felony charge in Martin County.

Brandon Scott Bartolo, 31, has been charged with theft, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to the complaint, on May 29, 2019, an officer with the Fairmont Police Department responded to the House of Hope in Fairmont on a report of theft of medication and other property. An employee escorted the officer to the office where they met with a supervisor. The individuals told the officer that on May 26, 2019, a client went to take his twice a day medication and noticed the back of the packaging had been cut open and the prescription medication was missing from inside the package.

The first employee stated staff had looked at the packaging and it appeared to have been glued shut after it was opened. Staff then looked at another dose of medication and discovered the another package had been cut open as well, with the medication again removed and the package glued back together. The medication is a Schedule II controlled substance.

The second employee indicated they reviewed footage of the facility and it showed only one employee, Bartolo, in the medication room when he should not have been. The individual indicated the footage showed Bartolo “messing around” with patient medications at late hours when clients were sleeping.

Security footage also showed Bartolo going through patient medication boxes at hours when patients did not need medication, as well as leaving the facility through the dry goods storage and kitchen area.

House of Hope staff later went through the lock box medication locker and discovered that 73 additional medications were missing from another patient’s lock box. Additional medication was also missing. The officer observed the security footage of Bartolo in action on different dates, where he was seen to be going through medication and taking various food items and a pillow.

Staff advised that Bartolo was working alone each of the nights where he was pictured in the security videos. The officer was also advised that the medication stolen is valued at $857.

On May 31, 2019, the officer watched Bartolo leaving the House of Hope and he conducted a traffic stop of Bartolo’s vehicle. Bartolo was detained and advised of his rights. Bartolo stated he understood and stated, “I don’t have anything to say.”

The officer advised Bartolo of video footage, and Bartolo told the officer that he knew what he did and it was his job to count the medications. Bartolo stated he did not know anything about missing medication, and stated “The orange juice, the apple juice, the food, and the pillow, yes, 100 percent.”

Bartolo admitted he committed the theft of those items. He also explained his reason for going through the medication late at night was that he gets bored and needs something to do.