University Hospital pharmacy worker accused of stealing medicine meant for patients

Allegedly filled vials with water

CINCINNATI - A Colerain Township man appeared in court Thursday for allegedly stealing drugs from the hospital pharmacy where he works.

University of Cincinnati police say 22-year-old Benjamin Robers was caught on hidden cameras last Thursday stealing syringes filled with powerful pain killers from the operating room pharmacy. Robers is a pharmacy technician at the hospital.

The syringes were allegedly filled with fentanyl, a powerful pain reliever.  Additionally, he stole Midazolam, used for sedation before surgery, police say.

Robers was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his workplace.

UC Police Chief Gene Ferrara said the pharmacist began to suspect that something was going on. The hospital security installed hidden cameras in the pharmacy work area. UC police investigators say the cameras caught Robers in the act of stealing drugs. 

"The whole thing was just a package that couldn't be tied up any nicer," said Chief Ferrara. "The pharmaceutical board for the state is involved so they'll track it and make sure he doesn't get employment elsewhere. It's just everybody that needed to be involved was really super cooperative and we got everything done."

During an interview, investigators played the video evidence. Police say Robers admitted to the thefts and allegedly revealed that he had drugs in a backpack with him. Police say they found syringes containing the fentanyl.  Investigators added the drug possession charge.

Chief Ferrara added, "Unfortunately we have to put trust in people in certain positions. And more unfortunately, sometimes those people aren't worthy of the trust we put with them. But that's why we need vigilance and we had a vigilant pharmacist."

Both charges are felonies. His bond was set at $10,000 on Thursday. He is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center and is scheduled to appear in court next month.

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