Hazard police responded to the Hazard Walmart on the afternoon of November 12 after receiving a call reporting a possible theft. According to the arrest citation, Vesta Allen, 51, of Lost Creek, had already been apprehended by the store’s loss prevention department upon Hazard Police Major James East’s arrival. Allen allegedly shoplifted $112 worth of merchandise from the store.
Major East told the Herald that upon searching Allen’s purse, he located hundreds of prescription pills and thousands of dollars in cash. Included in the haul of pills was 376 methadone tablets, 89 xanax pills, one half of a percocet and one addapex. East said the pills were “prepackaged” in three pill bottles, and the cash, totaling $2,523, was found in separate pockets inside her bag.
“She had the money split up in two or three different places in her purse,” East said.
Allen was charged with one count each of first and third-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, misdemeanor theft and prescription drugs not in the proper container.
East said it’s not that uncommon when police officers are called to reports of theft related crimes that drug related charges are added as well.
“It’s a pretty common occurrence,” he said.