Police are reminding the public to be vigilant about securing their personal information after a pharmacy technician was charged with forgery and fraud Thursday.

Ephrem Olana, 25, a pharmacy technician at a Forest Lawn Shopper’s Drug Mart, is accused of forging prescriptions for OxyContin and billing them to customers’ insurance policies since July 2008.

“It’s important to make sure you have a close watch over your personal information,” Const. Dan Allen of the District 4 police station said. “There are individuals out there looking to access (personal) information for their own gain.”

Allen said approximately 15,000 OxyContin tablets, with a street value estimated between $180,000 and $250,000, are missing. OxyContin is a morphine-based narcotic that Allen said can become highly addictive. According to police, unlike a pharmacist, there is no body governing the training of pharmacy technicians and anyone can get on-the-job training.

A pharmacy technician at Shoppers Drug Mart, who didn’t want to be named, said Shoppers performs background checks when hiring.

“In this case the store was careful about their hiring process,” Allen said. “But there needs to be a vigilance in knowing where these narcotics are going, having some way of auditing and determining what’s coming and what’s going.”

The investigation is ongoing.