A sample destined to be tested for COVID-19 instead ended up in the hands of a suspected thief in Davis Saturday, KTLA sister station KTXL in Sacramento reported.
Davis Police Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov told FOX40 that 40-year-old Shaun Moore walked into Sutter Davis Hospital Saturday afternoon, grabbed the specimen and took off on a bicycle.
“I think the concerning thing was, is somebody going to purposefully try to infect people using this virus?” said Doroshov.
The suspect later abandoned the testing sample without opening it, according to Doroshov. Workers at a CVS Pharmacy found it inside a shopping cart just before 6:30 p.m.
“At that point, confirmed it hadn’t been opened or tampered with based on the security seals,” Doroshov said.
Based on tips from the homeless community, investigators say they were able to track down Moore Sunday morning and arrest him on suspicion of burglary near the intersection of Cowell Blvd and Research Park Drive.
Doroshov said Moore lives in Davis but does not have a permanent home.
Investigators are working to figure out why Moore allegedly stole the sample in the first place.
“Are there issues going on with this person that are not quite rational? Are there other motivations? So, it really could take a lot of different courses,” said Doroshov.
Police said more charges may be filed depending on his motive but they don’t think the suspect meant to harm himself or anyone else.
FOX40 reached out to Sutter Health Sunday to ask about its security protocol and how someone was able to walk in a steal a sample.
They declined an interview and instead sent the following statement:
Sutter Davis Hospital is committed to providing high-quality care to the Yolo County community and beyond. We take this situation very seriously. We are conducting our own internal investigation, as well as working closely with county officials and law enforcement on the matter.SUTTER DAVIS HOSPITAL
As the investigation continues, Doroshov told FOX40 he hopes neighbors can take comfort that a suspect is in custody and the testing sample is secured.
“As much fear as this may have caused in the community, we wrapped it up pretty quickly so hopefully those fears can subside now,” said Doroshov.