South St. Paul Teacher Arrested in Pharmacy Robbery, Found in Possession of More than 1,400 Percocet Pills

February 18, 2017 06:48 PM

A South St. Paul teacher is in custody Friday after robbing a Woodbury pharmacy, demanding Percocet and prescription medicine. 

Melanie Sue Parkin, 36, of South St. Paul, faces two felony charges including first-degree aggravated robbery and third-degree possession of 50 or more doses of narcotic mixture. 

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Officers found 1,413 Percocet pills in Parkin's possession as well as OxyContin, according to the criminal complaint. Percocet contains oxycodone, which is a controlled substance in Minnesota, as is OxyContin.

The criminal complaint details the following events: 

Woodbury Police were called at 2:52 a.m. Monday to a report of a robbery at a Woodbury Walgreens. 

Parkin allegedly came in wearing sunglasses, a baseball hat and puffy jacket and showed the pharmacist a gun. She stole three bottles of Percocet, which she put in a bag, then left.

An officer saw a suspicious woman driving a vehicle around that time and noticed the SUV's tabs were expired. 

The driver, Parkin, told police she had come from Walgreens. Officers saw a large bag of pills and asked what she was doing.

Parkin reportedly responded she "took the pills from Walgreens." 

Parkin said she used "only an airsoft gun," when the officer asked about the weapon. 

Police found the pills, jacket and sunglasses. 

Parkin was questioned by police, and she said she was addicted to the pain medication. She told police she was in an accident and broke her spine four years ago. Doctors had prescribed either Percocet or Oxycontin in that time, but she no longer had a prescription, according to the criminal complaint.

Parkin said she would go through withdrawal when the medicine ran out, and she was running low. 

Parkin told police she didn't take all the pills from the pharmacist stating, "That's too much." 

When Parkin was questioned about similar incidents at other pharmacies, she said she wanted a lawyer, according to the criminal complaint. 

The pharmacist confirmed Parkin's story, telling police that Parkin allegedly said, "I don't need all of them," and took three bottles of pills. 

Parkin remains in custody.

The school district confirmed through its lawyer than Parkin is a special education teacher at South St. Paul Secondary School, where she has worked since Aug. 22.

The district has put Parkin on paid administrative leave Wednesday.

The district lawyer said in an email, "At this time, given the limitations of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, the District cannot disclose more than what it has already said in response to your questions, other than that the District is conducting an investigation into the allegations made against Ms. Parkin." 


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