Police investigating enema tampering

9:42 AM, Jun 29, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Florida (First Coast News) -- There's an empty shelf at the CVS store at 9509 San Jose Boulevard in Jacksonville.

No enemas; instead, a sign directed people who bought them to call a consumer hotline. Police are concerned that people unknowingly bought packages of saline laxatives that had already been used.

Police say a man began buying the enemas in March and started returning them in April.

Last week, a CVS clerk thought it was strange the same man kept returning enemas. When they checked the enema boxes currently on the shelf, they discovered they were already used.

More testing confirmed the dirty truth: fecal matter on the enemas bottles ready for sale.

"I was just kinda shocked. But in today's economic times, like I said before, people are doing some strange things. This has got to rank up there with strange," said customer Bob Robbins.

Police say the man opened the boxes at the bottom, then used glue to reseal them.

CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis says "the health and safety of our customers is our top priority. ... If a product appears to have been used or noticeably damaged we do not allow it back on the shelf."

There is security camera footage of the returns, but police refused to release it, citing the ongoing investigation.

The man brought the enemas back to CVS multiples times and police documented the following times: 

  • On June 5, a CVS employee thought it was strange that the same individual was making returns with the same product. The employee decided to check the box of enemas after it was returned. Upon opening the box of enemas, 6 had been used and the box had been resealed so it would appear to be unopened. An employee then checked the additional three boxes on the shelf and determined they had all been previously used.
  • On June 12 the same unknown individual attempted to return another box of enemas that were purchased on June 11. The employee advised the individual that he could no longer take returns for these items. The employee contacted his loss prevention manager and advised all the area CVS stores about this incident.
  • On June 13, a CVS employee thought he observed the customer's vehicle, obtained the tag number and contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
  • On June 14, the JSO was contacted by CVS with information to help identify the suspect. CVS personnel were able to determine that the suspect purchased enemas on one occurrence with a credit card. That transaction, as well as other purchases at the store, and the tag number led to a possible suspect.

The individual has been identified, and was arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant. The man's name has not been released at this time.

The JSO is working with investigators from the Office of Criminal Investigations of the Federal Food and Drug Administration. They are the lead agency on this investigation and treating it as a product tampering case.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Florida District Consumer Complaint Coordinator at 866-337-6272.

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