JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - A member of the Clark County Sheriffs Department is now facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing narcotic pain killers right out of a woman's purse at the courthouse.
Dennis Caraway is charged with felony theft and possession of a controlled substance. He has also been fired from his post as a Clark County corrections officer.
Caraway worked for the Clark County Sheriffs Department for more than seven years. Sheriff Daniel Rodden said Caraway was demoted from Sergeant to corporal about a year ago although the Sheriff would not say why.
"Anytime an employee chooses to make those decisions it's a sad part of his life," Rodden said. "I was surprised that this was going on in his life."
Caraway is accused of stealing 30 oxycodone pills out of Heather Burton's purse on Wednesday as Burton went through the security checkpoint at the courthouse. Burton said she had just come from the pharmacy and had a full bottle of oxycodone for back pain. She said Caraway told her the x-ray machine was broken and he had to hand search her purse.
When she got down the hall, Burton looked inside her purse and found about a third of the bottle was missing. She said the rest of the pills were spilled out in the bottom of her bag.
According to the investigative report, Caraway initially denied taking the pills but during a search by a detective, the report states a painkiller matching Burton's fell out of Caraway's pocket. And the rest were later discovered stashed in a vitamin bottle inside the security desk.
"I was stunned but I knew he did it," Burton said. "I knew he did it. I mean, the evidence was there. And I believe the investigator knew that too."
According to the investigative report, Caraway eventually admitted to stealing the pain killers saying he did it because he could not deal with back pain anymore.
A warrant has been issued for Caraway's arrest. Attempts to reach Caraway have been unsuccessful.