Florida man trying to steal roommate’s prescription pills tricked into taking laxatives, police say

A Florida man who thought he was taking his roommate's prescription pills got a rude awakening when he was caught red-handed taking what later turned out to be laxatives, police said.

Peter Emery, 56, was arrested last Thursday and booked on charges of petit theft and violation of probation on prior possession charges after he was caught on video taking the pills from his roommate, WFLA reported.

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Jayme Ream told WFLA he had a feeling that Emery was stealing his prescription pills and decided to set up a camera in his room to catch the 56-year-old in the act.

"So, Monday night when I got the camera I also bought a bottle of ex-lax [a type of laxative pills] and I transferred the pain pills and moved the pain pills out and put the ex-lax in the other bottle," Ream told the news station. "And put it in there for him [Emery] to get."

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Ream said Emery took the bait and was spotted on video taking what he thought was Ream’s prescription medication.

"He put a laxative in a bottle, knowing someone was going to steal it again, or truly believing that," Pinellas Park Police Lt. Adam Geissenberger said. "In this case, somebody did steal it and, fortunately, regardless of who it was who took it, it wasn't a dangerous substance that was going to harm that person."

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Emery’s family said the 56-year-old has a history of using opioids and had recently completed a rehab program.