AMSTERDAM – A man who says he spent two decades collecting Ecstasy pills of all colors and shapes as a hobby has turned to police for help after they were stolen — because he says some of them are poisonous.
Police say the 46-year-old man, who was not identified, decided to report the theft despite the illegal nature of the collection because he was worried about the possible consequences if anybody were to swallow one of the poisoned pills.
It was not immediately clear why about 40 red-and-white pills out of the 2,400-pill-strong collection would be poisoned, but the police say they fear the drugs could be lethal if swallowed.
"That's really the main reason he came to the police," said police spokeswoman Esther Naber, adding the man "knows he's not going to get his collection back."
A report in De Volkskrant daily Thursday said the man claimed he was not a drug dealer or user.
"I've tried it before but didn't like it," the report quoted him saying. "My passion for collecting comes from the varied collection of colors, shapes and logos that are printed on the pills."
According to a police statement, the man gathered the pills over a 20 year period and carefully stored them in coin collecting folders.
The folders were allegedly taken during a break-in Wednesday at the man's home in Eerbeek, 56 miles east of Amsterdam.
Police spokesman Naber said investigators tended to believe the man's story.
"Why would you make something like this up?" she said.
Prosecutors and drug enforcement officials are still weighing whether to charge him with a crime.
"Given that the pills have disappeared, for the moment there's no evidence to support a possession charge," Naber said.
The pills' street value is estimated at $16,200.