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Pinellas County fights back against prescription drug abuse

Pinellas County fights back against prescription drug abuse

Pinellas County, Florida -- The numbers are alarming. Statistically, every 32 hours in Pinellas County someone dies of a drug overdose. In 2010, 280 people died of accidental drug overdoses with 249 of these deaths being due to abuse of prescription pain medication. 

A new, four-part series on Pinellas County Connection Television called "Fighting Back Against Prescription Drug Abuse" profiles the extent of the problem in Pinellas County and what local officials are doing to combat the issue through law enforcement, local ordinances and public education. 

Man steals toilet pipes from library

Clearwater, Florida -- Clearwater Police have arrested a man responsible for stealing toilet pipes from a local library.

Police say on Oct. 11, Herman Acosta stole two toilet pipes, along with the connecting values, totaling $1,500 from the men's restroom at Clearwater Main Library. He then sold them for scrap metal.

Acosta, 43, was arrested at his home and charged with Grand Theft.

Jogger attacked in Palm Harbor speaks out

Palm Harbor, Florida -- There are some questions about timing as the search continues for a man who attacked and sexually groped a woman out for a run in her upscale Palm Harbor neighborhood.

Questions about why Pinellas County deputies released a composite of the suspect and went public with details of the case a full three weeks after the attack.

3 charged with murder in death of commercial fisherman

Madeira Beach, Florida -- Three men have been charged in connection with the beating death of a commercial fisherman back in September.

Deputies say around 2 a.m. on Sept. 12, homeless men Kord Tucker, Timothy Schuyler and Joshua Shroyer boarded Michael Merrill's 33-foot commercial fishing boat while it was docked at a marina just south of the Tom Stewart Causeway and beat him with hand tools and other objects.

Merrill was able to escape and a friend found him a short time later and called police. Merrill died on Oct. 3. 

Men wearing school sweatshirts rob liquor store

Tarpon Springs, Florida -- Police need your help identifying a pair of armed robbers who held up a liquor store last Friday.

Tarpon Police say two black men, wearing masks, entered Liquors of Tarpon, on South Pinellas Avenue, just before 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, and demanded cash from the register. One of the men held a dark colored handgun.

After getting a large amount of cash, the men grabbed a bottle of vodka from before running out of the store. A witness was not able to get a good look at their getaway car.

Puppeteer pleads not guilty to child porn charges

Largo, Florida -- The 57-year-old man arrested in July on charges he planned to kidnap and cannibalize a boy at his church pleaded not guilty to child porn charges in U.S. District Court in Tampa Friday.

Ronald Brown, 57, was arrested back in July after investigators uncovered the Internet chats between him and a Kansas man

Man dons curly red wig during Publix robbery

Palm Harbor, Florida -- Detectives are searching for the man who robbed a Palm Harbor Publix Saturday night.

The sheriff's office says around 9 p.m. on Oct. 6, the man walked into the Publix on the corner of Alderman Road and U.S. 19 N, implied he had a gun and demanded money from the store manager. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, he fled on foot.