Area Woman Accused of Breaking into House, Stealing Prescription Medication Due in Court Thursday

PUNXSUTAWNEY BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – An area woman is facing a hearing Thursday on felony charges related to an incident where she allegedly broke into a former co-worker’s home and stole prescription medication.

Court documents indicate 43-year-old Tanya Lynn Abrams, of Cherry Tree, is scheduled to stand for a preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 5, on the following charges:

– Burglary – Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present, Felony 1
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Misdemeanor 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Misdemeanor 3
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor

The charges stem from an incident in Punxsutawney Borough in late January.

According to a criminal complaint, on January 22, Officer Miller, of the Punxsutawney Borough Police Department, received a complaint regarding a burglary that occurred on Pine Street. The victim reported she discovered someone entered her residence and removed prescription medication. The victim also stated she contacted a neighbor who had reported seeing a known female, identified as Tanya Abrams, leaving her residence while she was at work.

The victim was interviewed and also provided a written statement regarding the incident. She reported the medication stolen was Lyrica, a Schedule Five controlled substance used as a prescription pain medication. The victim told police that in the fall of 2019, her house keys were stolen from her place of employment, at which time Abrams was employed at the same place. The victim also stated she had heard from a co-worker that Abrams was previously caught stealing a set of car keys and removing medication.

The complaint notes the victim said she spoke to her neighbor, a known man, about discovering her medication being stolen from her house because they try to keep an eye on each other’s homes when they can. The victim said her neighbor’s wife informed him that she observed Abrams leaving her residence. The victim also told police that Abrams would know that she wouldn’t be home because she was working the same shift as she did when she worked with Abrams.

Officer Miller then interviewed and got a written statement from the victim’s neighbor. The neighbor reported that around 12:45 p.m. on January 22, she went outside to her vehicle to retrieve her phone and heard what sounded like a front door shutting. The neighbor said she then looked up and saw Abrams leaving the victim’s residence, coming off her front porch stairs. She told police she and Abrams looked at one another, and Abrams said, “‘I guess (the victim) is not home,’ and the neighbor replied, ‘no.'”

The neighbor reported that she then watched as Abrams walked down the street and got into a silver sedan. The neighbor told police that at the time, she “thought it was strange because Abrams was wearing a coat on with a hood up and pulled tight against her head.” The neighbor noted that seemed strange because it was a very nice day and not cold outside.

According to the complaint, Officer Miller also received a written statement from another worker employed at the victim’s place of employment. The written statement reported that Abrams was stealing the individual’s prescription pain medication (Hydrocodone) from her locked vehicle while it was parked at her place of employment. It was reported that when Abrams was confronted about the thefts, she broke down crying and admitted to it.

The complaint notes Officer Miller was also familiar with Abrams through prior police contact regarding a retail theft from a local business that occurred in the spring of 2019.

Officer Miller then contacted Abrams and requested she respond to the police station for an interview regarding the incident.

Around 3:00 p.m. on January 28, Abrams went to the Punxsutawney Borough Police Station for an interview. She was read her Miranda rights and signed a waiver form prior to answering any questions, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Abrams provided a written statement admitting to entering the victim’s residence and stealing her medication. Abrams stated she went to the residence, knowing the medication the victim was prescribed, then went inside and “took a handful of the pills” and walked out. Abrams also admitted she knew the victim wouldn’t be home and would have the medication at her house. She denied using a key to access the residence and stated the door was unlocked. She also apologized and stated it was “stupid.” Abrams allegedly told police she consumed the pills herself.

The charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office on Friday, January 31.

Court documents indicate Abrams is also facing a preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge David B. Inzana at 2:30 p.m. on March 23, on an another theft charge.

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