Man Accused of Stealing Syringes and Possessing Drugs Waives Hearing
CLEARFIELD – A Frenchville man who has been accused of stealing syringes from the Clearfield Hospital and of being in possession of drugs and paraphernalia during a traffic stop in February waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.
Robert Joseph Gavlock, 35, of Frenchville has been charged with criminal mischief; theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property; use/possession of drug paraphernalia; intentional possession of controlled substance by person not registered; driving unregistered vehicle; operating vehicle without valid inspection; and operating vehicle without required financial responsibility. His bail has been set at $50,000 monetary.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Feb. 23, Clearfield Borough police responded to the emergency room at the Clearfield Hospital, where Gavlock had allegedly broken into a drug cabinet. At the hospital, a nurse told police the defendant came in the ER around 11:25 a.m. for an eye examination. Gavlock was in Room 9 with his “support person.”
After Gavlock had been released, the nurse said hospital personnel entered Room 9 to prep for the next patient, at which time they discovered the sharps container had been broken from its holder and removed from the wall. The container was found inside a linen basket, where its lid was removed and its contents exposed to the linens. The nurse said the container was secured to the wall before Gavlock entered the room.
During the defendant’s visit, the nurse observed his “support person” seated in the chair next to the door, which was partly closed toward him. She believed the defendant was behind the door at this point. The nurse was neither certain of how many syringes were inside the container nor how many were removed from it.
On Feb. 25, Clearfield Borough police observed a gold-colored Chevrolet Impala traveling northbound on South Second Street. Police stopped the vehicle on Mill Road for an expired registration; the operator’s registration had expired in December of 2012. Police identified the operator as Gavlock, and he was advised of the complaint from the Clearfield Hospital.
During the traffic stop, police asked Gavlock for consent to search the vehicle for syringes from the hospital. Gavlock told police he had syringes inside his vehicle, as they were for the medication he’d been prescribed. Gavlock authorized police to search his vehicle, which he was supposed to purchase but didn’t have the title for yet.
As a result of the search, police found a blue ophthalmology burr algerbrush with the letters “ED” and “do not remove” and a small mirror with white residue in the glove compartment. In addition, police found four Lidoderm Lidocaine patches (5 percent) in the center console, as well as a small sandwich bag with four spoons with white powdery residue, six syringes, one razor blade, six Q-tips, two pieces of string and one pair of scissors.
Police showed the ophthalmology burr to the ER personnel at the Clearfield Hospital. They checked the ER eye treatment medical kit and discovered the burr was missing from it. Hospital personnel told police they only possessed the one that was missing, and it’s valued at $257. They said the kit would have been in Room 9 with Gavlock, who came in for treatment of eye injuries.
On Feb. 26, police interviewed the “support person” who was with Gavlock at the ER. He told police he and Gavlock walked to the hospital for Gavlock’s eye examination. When the hospital personnel were not in the room, Gavlock allegedly asked him to watch for them, while he removed items from the tray that the hospital personnel were using to treat him. The “support person” also alleged that Gavlock used keys to pry open the sharps container, which caused it to fall to the floor. He alleged Gavlock grabbed approximately two handfuls of needles for drug-related purposes.