A Florida man is under investigation for repeatedly returning boxes of used enemas to a CVS pharmacy where workers re-shelved the items, police report.
The unidentified suspect, who has not yet been charged in a product tampering probe being led by the federal Food and Drug Administration, was arrested earlier this month on an unrelated outstanding warrant. He is currently locked up.
The repulsive probe began earlier this month when a worker told Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office deputies that the suspect, on four occasions, had purchased ready-to-use saline enemas only to later return the items.
The CVS employee, Dustin McDonald, said that when returning enemas on June 5, “the suspect told him that it was for the suspect’s mother and she no longer needed them,” according to a sheriff’s report.
After accepting the enemas for return, the 22-year-old McDonald decided to “check the box of enemas to be sure that they were not tampered with.”
When he opened the box, McDonald “observed that all the enemas were used.”
Additionally, the pharmacy worker determined that “the unknown white male re-glued the bottom of the box so that it appeared that it had not been opened.”
McDonald then checked three other six-pack enema boxes on the store’s shelves and found that “all the enemas in each of the 3 boxes were previously used.”
As with the first box he examined, McDonald discovered that the three other boxes had been opened from the bottom and re-glued shut.
Remarkably, however, despite discovering on June 5 that four boxes of enemas had been returned used, CVS personnel did not immediately contact law enforcement about the tampering.
It was not until June 12 -when the male suspect sought to return a fifth box of enemas to the San Jose Boulevard store – that pharmacy employees called the police.
On that date, McDonald had told the man that he “could no longer take returns for this item.” McDonald also “contacted his law prevention manager and advised all the area CVS stores about this incident.”
A subsequent review of credit card records and store surveillance tape (which caught the man driving a blue pickup truck) led sheriff’s deputies to identify the suspect, who has not been named.
Investigators determined that the man began purchasing the enemas in March and returning them in April.
According to a CVS spokesperson, the company believes that, over a two-month period, “as many as 12 enema packages…were possibly used by a customer who then returned them with re-sealed packaging to make the products appear unopened.”
The pharmacy added that it was “proactively contacting” 21 customers who bought “any of the potentially impacted enema products” during the period of time that the suspect was carrying out the tampering scheme.
As part of the criminal probe, police noted, “Samples were taken of the fluid in the enema bottle and have been sent to the Florida Department of Health for testing. Fecal matter was located on some of the returned enema bottles. The fecal matter has been collected as evidence and submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing.”