A Florida middle school teacher tried to steal from Target, police said. She blames opioids.

Published April 12
Updated April 12

A Daytona Beach middle school teacher stole items from a Target store and trafficked drugs, police said — and she doesn’t even remember the arrest.

Kimberly Vicars, 46, of New Smyrna Beach, took more than 32 different items last Wednesday from a Target store on 2380 W International Speedway Blvd., according to Daytona Beach Police department arrest records, and tried to hide them in Target tote bags.

A loss prevention officer saw Vicars taking clothes, toiletries and other items, which totalled roughly $522.25, and exiting the store without trying to stop at a cashier of self checkout lane. The officer stopped Vicars and contacted police, according to the arrest report.

A police officer arrived and arrested Vicars, who teaches eighth-grade language arts at David C. Hinson Sr. Middle School. After searching her purse, the officer found an Advil bottle with 5 Hydrocodone 325/10mg pills.

The officer then found another Advil container with 21 pills also determined to be Hydrocodone 325/10mg. In addition, the officer identified another pill in that bottle as Carisoprodol 350 mg, which is used to treat muscle spasms, according to the arrest report. Vicars also had a pill bottle with her name and prescription for Carisoprodol.

After searching some more, the officer found a third pill container with three more Hydrocodone pills.

In total, the officer found 29 hydrocodone pills, weighing 12 grams; 4 Carisoprodol 350mg, weighing .02 grams; and small pieces of green and orange pills that weren’t identified.

Vicars told The Daytona Beach News-Journal that she’s been suffering from chronic pain because of of two car crashes that led to three neck surgeries.

She wasn’t able to provide the arresting officer with a prescription for hydrocodone, the police report read, but she told The News-Journal that she has one to help cope with the pain.

She said she didn’t know that keeping the pills in an Advil bottle was illegal under state law, which defines trafficking as possession of more than 4 grams of hydrocodone, a schedule 2 controlled substance.

"It’s a terrible, terrible thing to live with chronic pain," Vicars told The News-Journal. "The opioid epidemic needs to be fought much harder than it is because this kind of thing shouldn’t happen to people."

She also told The News-Journal that she kept the pills in a nonprescription bottle because regular pill bottles are too big. Vicars said she didn’t even remember the arrest at Target since she "was on so much medication."

A school district spokeswoman told The News-Journal that Vicars has been assigned to a different position without student contact for the time being while her case is determined.

Vicars faces trafficking in hydrocodone and grand theft charges. She posted $11,500 bail two days after the arrest, according to The News-Journal.

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