Pinellas County

Tampa woman resorts to theft to get help for heroin addiction in jail

Told officers she "cannot get help anywhere else."

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) - A Tampa woman told police she resorted to stealing from a Largo CVS and asked to go to jail because she is "addicted to heroin and cannot get help anywhere else."

A arrest report shows that on May 5, Michelle Hildebrandt, 32, walked into the CVS Pharmacy at 2390 East Bay Dr. and ripped open various food items, dumping them out on the floor. When Largo police officers arrived, Hildebrandt asked them to take her to jail. 

The report goes on to say Hildebrandt made spontaneous statements admitting to her actions and said she wanted to go to jail due to her addiction. 

Even though Hildebrandt lives in Tampa, her father, Mike Morris, told News Channel 8 his daughter specifically went to Pinellas County to commit her crime because she heard that particular jail was better for addicts behind bars. 

A former addict now clean for 25 years, Morris said he didn't mind that his daughter broke the law in order to get clean. 

"She knew she needed to be some place where she couldn't just leave," he said. "I'm proud of her for having gone to those lengths to try and get help." 

He explained his daughter started using heroin about two years ago after getting hooked on pills a couple years before that. Morris added that it took Hildebrandt three shoplifting attempts on Sunday to even get caught, going to two stores prior to CVS. 

He also explained his daughter has tried to get help before but gave up when the withdrawals got too bad. She also doesn't have the money or insurance to cover entering a rehab facility. 

For the sake of his 5-year-old granddaughter, Morris hopes his daughter's most recent act of desperation is enough to get her clean. 

"There's literally millions of people out there right now that need help, and want help, but they can't get it because they don't have any money," he said. 

Hildebrandt has priors on her record including theft and prostitution. Morris said his daughter resorted to prostitution to pay for her addiction. 


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