An elderly Moon Township woman said she became suspicious after dozens of her prescribed Vicodin pills seemingly disappeared from the bottle in her Waterford Landing apartment.
The woman, who said she infrequently takes the medication, had a prescription for 100 pills filled by pharmacists on Aug. 13.
By Aug. 29, just 31 pills were left in the bottle, she said.
The woman hesitated to report the missing medication because "you reach a point where people might say it's your age," according to her testimony in Coraopolis District Court.
Moon Township Police have charged 57-year-old Richard Jugovich, a former maintenance worker at Waterford Landing, with repeatedly entering her apartment to steal the pills.
Jugovich appeared Tuesday in Coraopolis District Court for a preliminary hearing on the charges.
Magisterial Judge Mary Ann Cerone held four counts each of criminal trespass, burglary, theft by unlawful taking and one count each of possessing instruments of crime and drug possession. One count of criminal trespass against Jugovich was dismissed.
Police allege Jugovich on multiple occasions this year used his staff keys to enter the woman's home while she was away, stealing individual pills from the woman's kitchen table.
After Jugovich was fired from his job, he continued to enter the apartment with a key to steal pills, Detective Joseph Brace said during testimony.
The woman, who appeared in court with the aid of a walker and oxygen tank, said she was baffled after repeatedly counting her pills, only to find more missing each time she left home.
"So I decided to set up a trap," she testified.
One day in August before leaving home for a hair appointment, she turned the pill bottles in a particular pattern, with labels facing a certain direction.
When she returned home only hours later, she found the bottles had again been rearranged.
"And I found ten more pills missing," she testified.
She then contacted police, who arrested Jugovich on Sept. 12 following an investigation.
Brace said he and Detective William Lonkert hid in the woman's apartment while she was away and observed the man "tiptoe" into the victim's kitchen, where he picked up a pill bottle.
Click here to watch police footage from Jugovich's arrest.
Jugovich denied any wrongdoing when questioned by police in August, but on the date of his arrest told officers he was "there to get drugs," Brace testified.
The woman, who is in her 70s and lives alone, said she did not request maintenance work at her apartment and had not authorized Waterford Landing staff to enter her home.
A second Waterford Landing resident, who did not appear in court, also told police she often found medications missing from her apartment but found no signs of forced entry.
Jugovich was fired from his maintenance staff position prior to his arrest, Brace said. He will face a formal arraignment on the charges on Dec. 4.
Property management at Waterford Landing could not be reached for comment.
Jugovich told Cercone that he has relocated from Moon Township to Morgan, PA.