Pill thief caught in mother, son sting

Pill thief caught in mother, son sting

LONGVIEW, Wash. - Dan Estey got his binoculars and was ready to stake out his 84-year-old mother's house the day after Valentine's Day.

Pain pills kept disappearing from the bottle on her kitchen counter just one or two at a time. So the mother and son decided to set up a sting. Mom put a single pill in the bottle and put it on her kitchen counter. Then she left, leaving the front door unlocked with Estey outside watching and waiting.

"When I got there, there was police action right across the street from her house," Estey said. "I thought, well, there goes that. No one's going to do anything stupid with all these police around."

But police or no police, the thief wanted that pill.

"Within two or three minutes (after she left), I saw this person come right around the corner, wearing a pink sweater, blue pants," Estey said. "She popped right into her front door."

Suddenly, those police officers became an asset in the sting.

"I ran to the police and said, 'Someone's breaking into the house. Let's go get 'em!' And he dropped what he was doing and ran over there."

Police say they got her, neighbor Jennifer Anne Oliver, who lived in the other half of the duplex.

Officers say she admitted later she went inside the house and touched the pill bottle, though she says she was not the one who took the pill inside.

A KATU News reporter knocked on Oliver’s door. She had little to say.

But Estey believes the problem of disappearing pills is over.

"Well, it was all Mom," he said. "She's the crime fighter in this."

Estey's mom said she was surprised that the neighbor was the one arrested, because the neighbor had just brought flowers over the day before for Valentine's Day.