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Wednesday, November 21 , 2018, 2:53 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 

Man Arrested for Stealing from Carpinteria Medication Disposal Box

The Santa Barbara man used a homemade cord and fishing hook to take medication and syringes from an Operation Medicine Cabinet kiosk at sheriff's substation

Christian Kulbe
Christian Kulbe

Though what goes in is not supposed to come back out, a Santa Barbara man nearly succeeded Sunday in stealing medication, syringes and other controlled substances from a Carpinteria kiosk meant for residents’ unused medication.

According to county Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover, Christian Kulbe, 46, was spotted just after midnight Sunday using a homemade cord and fishing hook to remove the items from the Operation Medicine Cabinet kiosk in front of the Sheriff’s Department Coastal Station at 5775 Carpinteria Ave.

The county maintains nine of these 24-hour kiosks next to sheriff’s stations, where residents can safely and anonymously dispose of any unused medications they have.

The program is a partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and the county’s Public Works Department.

Hoover said Kulbe was taken into custody following the incident and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, and his device and the stolen medications were seized as evidence.

Kulbe was booked on charges of possession of stolen property, petty theft, possession of burglary tools, prowling and possession of controlled substances, and had his bail set at $2,500.

A man allegedly used this hook and line to fish out medication from an Operation Medicine Cabinet box at the Carpinteria sheriff’s department substation. Click to view larger
A man allegedly used this hook and line to fish out medication from an Operation Medicine Cabinet box at the Carpinteria sheriff’s department substation.  (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

As abuse of prescription drugs and opioids has worsened nationwide, local officials have utilized the kiosks as a method for getting such drugs out of the hands of people who don’t need them.

Unused medication left in homes can lead to misuse, abuse, or overdose, and the improper disposal of medication can pollute the environment, according to authorities. 

Loose pills and powders should be sealed in a plastic bag before going in the kiosks, the sheriff’s department said, and sharp objects should not be placed in them for the safety of those who remove the medications for eventual incineration.

Since 2007, the kiosks have collected over 30,000 pounds of medications.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A man was arrested on charges of stealing medications out of a medicine disposal box at a sheriff’s department substation in Carpinteria. Click to view larger
A man was arrested on charges of stealing medications out of a medicine disposal box at a sheriff’s department substation in Carpinteria.  (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

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