Melissa Marie Ciafardo MUG

Melissa Marie Ciafardo -- Charged with theft of a controlled substance.

Authorities on Wednesday arrested a Hernando Walgreens employee for allegedly pocketing a dozen prescription pills during her latest shift — but over 130 pills are still unaccounted for.

In a written statement to Citrus County sheriff’s investigators, 45-year-old Melissa Marie Ciafardo admitted to taking medication from the store’s pharmacy for the past two months, according to her arrest report.

Store surveillance cameras were just able to capture the Beverly Hills woman on Tuesday and Wednesday purportedly putting Alprazolam, also known as Xanax, into her pockets while she was filing prescriptions, the arrest report shows.

Deputies charged Ciafardo with theft of a controlled substance.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Lindsay Blair wasn’t able to confirm Thursday the position Ciafardo held at the store, located on the corner of County Road 486 and Forest Ridge Boulevard.

The Walgreens store manager would not comment.

According to Ciafardo’s arrest report, she came into work one hour early on Wednesday and other employees noticed her acting erratically and possibly under the influence.

A manager questioned Ciafardo, who said she took 12 Alprazolam pills from the pharmacy and put them in her pocket, which surveillance footage corroborated.

Ciafardo also told her manager she’s been taking Alprazolam pills for roughly two months because she gives them to her mother to self-medicate, according to her arrest report.

Ciafardo wrote down similar statements for police before her arrest.

Walgreens later discovered 136 Alprazolam tablets were unaccounted for in their logs, but there was no video footage to connect Ciafardo with the previous thefts, according her arrest report.

Ciafardo was given a $2,000 bond and was trespassed from Walgreens.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.

Load comments