SKOWHEGAN— Police say the quantity of prescriptions drugs stolen from the Trinity Men’s Shelter this week, and the number of people affected, is more than they originally estimated.

The pastor of the church that runs the shelter says, meanwhile, that the homeless victims are having a hard time paying to replace the thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen medication.

Prescription medications belonging to about 75 people staying at the shelter and valued at “much more” than $1,000 were taken from a locked cabinet at the shelter over the weekend, according to Skowhegan Police Chief Ted Blais. There have been no arrests, but police say they have a suspect.

Originally police had estimated about $1,000 worth of medication belonging to about 30 men staying at the shelter, which is run by the Trininty Evangelical Free Church, were stolen.

The missing drugs include stimulants, painkillers, anti-depressants, psychological medications, asthma medications and narcotics, Blais said.

“We’re trying to get back what we can, but it’s obvious that some people probably won’t get their prescriptions back,” said Pastor Richard Berry, of Trinity Evangelical Free Church. “Those that have MaineCare cannot get their prescriptions refilled. They don’t do that if it’s stolen.”

The shelter is for men only, although in some cases, women are allowed to stay with their husbands. The cancer medication of one such woman was stolen. The drug was valued at $500 and was provided by MaineCare, Berry said.

“We’re doing what we can. The church is very small and doesn’t have any money,” he said. “Unless money comes in from people on the outside, we’re doing what we can to get people back on their medications one way or another.”

The shelter, in operation since 2008, is run primarily by resident volunteers.

People who stay at the shelter are not allowed to keep drugs on their person, so prescription medication is kept in a locked cabinet for distribution at certain times of the day.

Around 6 a.m. Sunday, a supervisor at the shelter noticed that the cabinet was missing. According to Berry, it had been kept in a locked office in the locked church building, raising police suspicions that the person who took it might have had a connection to the shelter.

The cabinet was found pried open in a spot near the shelter, but all the medication was gone, according to Blais.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Skowhegan Police Department anonymous tipline at 474-6916.

Donations can be sent by check to Trinity Evangelical Free Church, 12 McClellan St., Skowhegan, ME 04976 and marked “medication.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]


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