OK: Oklahoma couple grows suspicious after prescribed pain medications seemed to stop working

Come to find out, the husband’s physical therapist had been stealing them and replacing them

An Oklahoma couple in their 70s grew suspicious after their prescribed pain medications seemed to stop working.

Come to find out, the husband’s physical therapist had been stealing them and replacing them with something else. The wife caught him in the act with a hidden camera.

Now, the physical therapist is facing criminal charges. Linda and Jim Brown welcomed physical therapist Jake Strain into their home in Hooker after Jim had knee replacement surgery.

“We really did like him. He was very nice, very likable,” said Linda Brown, a victim.

Little did they know, the man they welcomed into their home multiple times a week was helping himself to their pain medications and replacing them with different pills. It was all caught on hidden cameras.

“We didn’t know what we were taking for about four months or maybe longer than that,” Linda said.

It all started after Jim’s surgery in the summer of 2022. On the very first visit, Strain did something that raised their eyebrows.

“He knew where the medicine was from day one,” Linda said. “Jake said, ‘Oh, I forgot my phone. Let me go back in and get it, and I’ll catch up with you.'”

After taking Jim outside for a walk, instead of going for his phone, they said Strain went straight for the pills.

“There was no need for him to be checking out our pill bottles. That was weird,” Linda said.

What Strain didn’t know was they had recently installed the cameras throughout their home.

“I kind of brushed it off because we liked him so well,” Linda said.

For the next few weeks, Strain would stop by, sometimes unannounced and would say he was just checking in. Then, insurance said they would stop paying for his physical therapy visits.

“He said, ‘That time is up, but I am going to just keep coming because I really think I am helping Jim.’ He was helping himself,” Linda said.

It went on for months. During that time, the Browns noticed their pain medicine, hydrocodone and oxycontin, wasn’t working like they used to.

“We both complained to our doctors that our pain meds weren’t working,” Linda said.

The doctor suggested that someone in their home might be tampering with their pills, and Linda said that was when it clicked.

“Jake was the only one here. The only one,” Linda said.

At first, their cameras hadn’t actually caught Strain in the act, so Linda repositioned them.

“The next morning, I caught him. It’s like baiting a fishhook, you know?” Linda said.

Strain told them he needed to take a phone call in the back. In the video, he was seen entering their bedroom.

“He is over there going through my nightstand and going through my medicine,” Linda said.

Strain then walked to the other bedside table and appeared to pocket one of the oxycodone bottles and place it in his pocket.

“As soon as I see him put that bottle in his pocket, I said, ‘I got him,'” Linda said.

Moments later, it looked like he realized a camera was pointed at him, but he didn’t say anything and eventually left. Meanwhile, Linda went straight to the Hooker Police Department with her evidence.

“Within two hours, Jake knew he had been caught. Someone called him,” Linda said.

Hours later, Strain was seen going back to their home.

“He came back after dark and his demeanor had completely changed,” Linda said.

The living room camera captured part of the conversation where Strain admitted to the Browns he had stolen 19 of their pain pills. How did he know Linda reported him?

“He said he knew that the police were involved. I asked him how he found out. He said, ‘I would rather not say,'” Linda said.

Linda kept the evidence, saying they were prescribed pain medication and Strain replaced them. Thanks to her push, she got the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office to investigate.

Turns out, the Browns may not have been his only victims. According to court documents, at least six other former patients said Strain would sometimes show up unannounced at their homes and offer to visit even after insurance was up.

From hip surgery to knee replacement, court documents said Strain stole their pain medications, too. One patient even discovered her oxycodone was replaced with thyroid medication.

It wasn’t just in Oklahoma. A patient of his in Kansas reported to police that Strain had offered to pick up his medicine from the pharmacy, but when he dropped the pills off, he noticed some were missing.

It has been nearly a year since the Browns reported Strain. In September, the Oklahoma Medical Board placed him on a five-year probation but did not take his license.

Strain has since moved to Tyler, Texas. There, he received a new license in Texas, but in October, because of Oklahoma’s investigation, Texas placed him on disciplinary action with random drug screenings.

“He shouldn’t have a license. He shouldn’t have a medical license in any state,” Linda said.

He is also facing criminal charges for what prosecutors said he did to the browns, including larceny of a controlled dangerous substance and exploitation of a vulnerable adult. His next court date is set for January.

KOCO 5 was able to reach Strain over the phone. He declined to comment on the allegations but did say he completed a recovery program and said he’s now running an addiction facility in Texas.

As for Linda, she’s still pushing for justice.

“I feel like I’m making a difference or trying to make a difference. I am trying,” Linda said.

KOCO 5 reached out to the state medical board for comment on Strain’s discipline in Oklahoma. They said they couldn’t comment on the case because it’s still at the Oklahoma AG’s office for review.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, help is available. You can call the national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP, and they can get you in contact with local treatment facilities, support groups and community-based organizations.

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