Westerville News & Public Opinion

Police beat

Westerville: Employer turns in suspected drug abuse instruments

After firing a former employee for suspected drug use, the owner of a business in the 300 block of Old County Line Road found drugs and drug paraphernalia in the company van the employee had been using on June 11 and contacted Westerville police.

The 29-year-old employee was fired in January after admitting to heroin use that was affecting his work, the owner told police.

When he asked for his job back in June and passed a drug screen, he was rehired. But he quickly showed signs of declining work and absences.

The company's owner confiscated the suspect's company van, and confronted him about his drug use. The employee admitted to using heroin and quit on the spot, the owner said.

Employees checked the van, and found a syringe, lighter, spoon and what police believe to be Xanax in a bag. All items are associated with narcotics and drug use.

The owner said the suspect was the only person to use the van, and all items were confiscated by Westerville police.

Police said the employee does not have a history of drug charges, and the investigation is ongoing.

In other recent incident reports from the Westerville Division of Police:

• Mifflin Township Fire Department medics brought a 50-year-old woman into the emergency room at Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital, 500 S. Cleveland Ave., the afternoon of June 13.

The woman was unresponsive, and medics had noted several smoking pipes and bottles of alcohol where they picked her up in Columbus.

Medics gave police a glasses case that contained two smoking pipes with burned metal mesh -- instruments associated with crack cocaine use.

The woman was incoherent and struggling, and had to be restrained on the hospital bed while receiving medical attention.

Police confiscated the drug materials and the woman is being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

• During the night of June 9, six televisions were stolen from an under-construction business in the first block of North State Street.

Owners said the televisions were being stored in a locked outdoor refrigerator behind the building, which was locked when they left the site June 9.

When they returned the next morning, the six televisions were missing. Only the owners and two contractors have keys to the refrigerator.

The owners and contractors all claimed they weren't involved with the theft.

Police found no evidence, including signs of forced entry, and they have no suspects in the case.