SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A man is behind bars after being arrested in the South Bay last week for tampering with food at Safeway stores across the state, including putting bleach on eggs, authorities announced Monday.
48-year-old David Lohr was arrested on Wednesday, February 6, on multiple charges.
He was taken into custody after Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Deputies said they received reports of a man spreading white powder and hydrogen peroxide on a VTA bus in Sunnyvale.
The bus operator immediately had his passengers get off the bus and waited for authorities to arrive, but the suspect walked away from the scene. VTA sent out a description of the suspect to authorities as well as all bus and train operators.
Deputies later located Lohr at a bus stop near east El Camino Real and San Antonio Road in Los Altos. They determined Lohr had a felony no-bail warrant out of the Los Angeles FBI office for tampering with and attempting to tamper with consumer products
Authorities also found several receipts from area Safeway stores in his pockets.
Deputies conducted follow-up investigations and spoke with grocery store employees who said they had discovered an empty hydrogen peroxide container and hydrogen peroxide in a rotisserie chicken tray in late January.
Video surveillance also showed Lohr pouring bleach on cartons of eggs at the same store.
Investigators are still trying to determine whether those products were sold to anyone.
More details surfaced regarding the suspect’s alleged crimes Monday evening.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Lohr had previously been accused of pouring bleach into refrigerators and freezers in Los Angeles-area supermarkets containing ice, alcohol and seafood.
In November, Lohr was arrested for pouring peroxide on food in several Target stores in Arizona. In a bizarre jailhouse phone call, Lohr told a reporter at Fox 10 in Phoenix that he was doing it to attempt to clean chemicals from the food.
“I did nothing wrong,” Lohr told Fox 10. “I committed no crime. Absolutely no crime.”
Shoppers outside the Sunnyvale Safeway where Lohr is accused of tampering with food wondered about his mental health.
“He’s probably got some other issues going on that he believes this is a reasonable thing to do everywhere he can get,” said shopper Andy Lange. “I hope he gets help.”
The FBI is looking for anyone else who has been victimized by Lohr. KPIX 5 Security Analyst Jeff Harp said Lohr could face more charges.
“Once the FBI kind of has their claws into something like this, gets the U.S. Attorney’s office on board with pursuing a criminal complaint for prosecution, they’re going to go to the end of it and they’re going to find out why this individual did this,” Harp said.
Deputies determined that the white powder Lohr had spread on the bus was salt. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on the felony warrant and new pending charges for food tampering.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office at (408) 808-4500.