Friday, May 29, 2020

Click here to
sign up for our newsletter!

The Journal Publications will be operating remotely effective Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Apr 09, 2020

Shoplifter Exposes Cops to COVID-19 at Lowes in Monmouth County

Courtesy: Ocean County Scanner News

Three suspects were arrested in Howell Township on April 6 for trying to steal more than $2,000 worth of goods from a Lowes Home Improvement store, one of them knowingly having the coronavirus.

Four Howell police officers responded to the call at the Route 9 Lowes store and were unknowingly exposed to the virus while trying to detain and arrest the male shoplifters.

According to Howell Township police, the three men had been on a spree for the past couple of days, traveling in a vehicle together. While it was confirmed by health officials that one suspect had tested positive for the virus, it is assumed that the other two men are also at risk, considering their close contact with each other.

“Now I have four officers out on quarantine,” Howell Township Police Chief Andrew Kudrick said. “So it’s unfortunate for everybody that got involved.”

All three men, one from Jackson and two from Toms River, were quickly charged with third degree theft and released. HIPAA laws prevent the names of the suspects from being made public.

All four officers are now on administrative leave and in self-quarantine.

The three suspects had taken no effort to protect themselves or anyone else within the store from virus spread. A security officer and two shoppers were also exposed to the trio.

Gov. Phil Murphy announced yesterday the signing of an executive order that mandates all shoppers and employees in retail shopping store to wear face coverings.