An ex-Marine from Nevada is accused of stealing about 200 surgical masks from a Veteran Administration hospital, federal prosecutors said.
Peter Lucas, 35, appeared in court Wednesday after allegedly ripping off at least four boxes containing 50 masks apiece from the Ioannis A. Lougaris VA Medical Center in Reno over a five-day span late last month, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada announced.
Lucas, who has been charged with theft of health care property, was caught on surveillance cameras at the VA facility stealing the surgical masks from supply carts in his care starting on March 19, according to court documents.
Lucas, of Reno, then hid the boxes beneath his jacket before walking out of the hospital, federal prosecutors allege.
“We will not allow the theft of personal protective equipment to go undeterred, endangering the safety of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals protecting our communities,” US Attorney Nicholas Trutanich said in a statement.
Lucas admitted to police that he stole the four boxes, insisting he took them to give out to homeless people, KOLO-TV reports, citing a criminal complaint.
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