Orcas woman sentenced to jail after pharmacy break-in

An Orcas Island woman who admitted to breaking into an Eastsound pharmacy and to stealing prescription medication, but claims to have no memory of the incident, was ordered to serve 45 days in jail after pleading guilty to her first-ever felony offense.

On Oct. 1, Sharon Ruth Collins, 51, was sentenced in San Juan County Superior Court to 45 days in jail and ordered to pay $1,250 in fines and fees. Collins, who, as a first-time offender, qualified for sentencing below the state’s standard range, pleaded guilty in early August to one count of second-degree burglary, a Class B felony, and to one count of possession of a controlled substance – hydrocodone.

Though the sentence carries a 45-day jail term, Collins will be allowed to undergo substance-abuse treatment at an in-patient facility in lieu of 30 days in jail, and to serve 15 days on work crew in lieu of jail for the remainder. She was ordered to serve two years of probation under the sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Don Eaton.

A Class B felony, second-degree burglary carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both; however, the standard range of sentencing set by the state is 3-8 months in jail. Prosecutors recommended that Collins serve 90 days in jail.

According to court documents, Collins became the prime suspect in the May 27 break-in and theft at Ray’s Pharmacy, and the break-in of a neighboring gift store, based in large part on footage taken by a surveillance camera of a nearby business. A deputy reportedly recognized Collins as the person who was trying without success to break into the pharmacy at about 3:30 a.m.

Ray’s Pharmacy was broken into in the predawn hours of May 27 by someone who first broke into an adjacent shop, Spirit of the Northwest, and then gained entry into the pharmacy by busting out a window that separates the two businesses, both of which sustained extensive damage. Numerous droplets of blood were reportedly found inside the pharmacy as well.

According to court documents, Collins, who claims to suffer from black-outs, was arrested at her home later that day in connection with the burglaries and theft. Officers reportedly discovered about 100 tablets of hydrocodone in a pocket of the pants that she wore the night the break-ins occurred. She reportedly told officers she had no knowledge of the break-in or theft, or any recollection of events that took place after she left an Eastsound bar at about 1 a.m.

In support of the sentence, Eaton determined that Collins suffers from a chemical dependency, and that while the break-ins and the theft did not appear to be premeditated, that her actions were deliberate.