A Reno man is accused of stealing hundreds of surgical masks from a Veterans Affairs medical center, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Peter Lucas, 35, was arrested Tuesday in Reno and appeared Wednesday in federal court in connection with the theft from the Ioannis A. Lougaris VA Medical Center, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. He is charged with one count of theft of health care property.
“Our military veterans served on the front lines to protect our country, and now our health professionals are doing the same in our fight against COVID-19,” U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich said in a statement. “We will not allow the theft of personal protective equipment to go undeterred, endangering the safety of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals protecting our communities.”
Police surveillance cameras at the medical center showed a man stealing at least four boxes of surgical masks from supply carts March 19-23, then concealing them under his jacket before exiting the hospital, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Each box contained 50 masks.
It was unclear if Lucas worked at the medical center.