Fake repairman charged with theft

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:09

    Newton — A Lafayette man posing as a repairman was arrested for stealing drugs from pharmacies in Newton. Police were contacted after three Newton pharmacies reported suspicious occurrences five times during February involving the same suspect. Pharmacies within Weis Market and ShopRite grocery stores as well as the Rite Aid pharmacy reported that a person entered and approached a pharmacy employee and informed them that he was an HVAC technician who was working for a company named Tri-Tech and that he was there to service the A/C unit. The suspect was wearing Carhart work clothes and work boots. He brought a clipboard or other paperwork and in several instances, a step-ladder. He was denied access to the pharmacy area at ShopRite, but was able to gain entry at Rite Aid and Weis Market. He stole three bottles of Oxycodone and Oxycontin from the Weis Market Pharmacy, each containing approximately 100 pills, for a value of $187. The incidents occurred between Feb. 12 and Feb. 27. Newton Police were called on Feb. 26, after the pharmacies shared information and the suspect was seen again at the Rite Aid pharmacy. The suspect had already left the area, however surveillance video captured his image. With this description, investigating officers were led to a location in Andover Township where he had been renting a room. Officers soon learned his identity — Thomas Sudduth, 33, and a resident of Lafayette. He was arrested on March 3. Sudduth said he was an electrician employed by AT&T, but the company Tri-Tech, as purportedly used to gain entry into the pharmacies, is fictitious and Sudduth had no legitimate purpose for entering the pharmacies. Sudduth was issued criminal complaints charging him with the theft of controlled dangerous substances and possession of controlled dangerous substances. He was released on his own recognizance pending Superior Court.