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Nursing home patient accused of stealing drug kits

Liza Marie Mason, 42, of Naytahwaush has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of felony theft and one count of felony fifth-degree controlled substance crime.

According to court records, Mason is a patient at Frazee Care Center, where she is subject to one-to-one staff supervision because she has a history of causing disturbances and trying to access "sharps" containers in which used syringes are deposited.

On Dec. 6, Frazee police were called to the Frazee Care Center on the report of stolen prescription medications. Two tackle box-style medicine kits were missing.

Staff found Mason with a syringe with blood on it and fresh needle marks on her arm. They tried to talk to her about the missing drugs, but ended up having to search her room and allegedly found the two medicine kits hidden in the drop ceiling in her bathroom. One kit was empty and one still contained prescription drugs, including morphine sulphate, five Hydrocodone pills, five Lorazepam pills, two vials of Diazepam, Ativan, Clindamycin, Neurontin, eight Gabapentin pills, one vial of Lidocaine and two vials of Epinephrine.

On Dec. 7, a nurse saw her at a nurses station allegedly trying to open a sharps container. When confronted, Mason allegedly scratched the nurse across the stomach with a syringe hidden in her hand, then fled tor her room and tried to hide the syringe on her person. Staff had to forcibly take the syringe away from her.

On Dec. 8, District Judge David Mennis set cash bail at $1,000 and bond at $25,000, with standard conditions of release, or $50,000 without conditions.