The same day he was arrested, David C. Lohr had allegedly "poured hydrogen peroxide on or near rotisserie chickens" at a nearby grocery store

By Karen Mizoguchi
February 12, 2019 05:30 PM
Credit: Courtesy FBI

A transient man was arrested by the FBI for allegedly pouring bleach on food at grocery stores in several Southern California areas, PEOPLE confirms.

David C. Lohr was arrested in Sunnyvale, California, on Feb. 6 on suspicion of adding harmful substances to supermarket items in Orange and Los Angeles counties, officials said in a statement on Monday. The 48-year-old was charged in a federal complaint in U.S. District Court in L.A.

Lohr was arrested near a bus stop after authorities received complaints about a man spreading white powder, later determined to be salt, and hydrogen peroxide on a public bus, said the FBI, adding that Lohr had allegedly “poured hydrogen peroxide on or near rotisserie chickens” at a nearby grocery store.

The alleged crime sprees occurred between December 14, 2018, through early January.

According to a criminal complaint, obtained by PEOPLE and filed earlier this month, Lohr was seen on surveillance video “pouring bleach into refrigerators and freezers containing consumer products” at markets in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Westwood and West Hollywood. In addition, Lohr was seen picking up bottles of bleach in some of the stores.

Some customers later complained of smelling bleach from frozen items, including ice, alcoholic beverages and packaged frozen seafood. “Tampered packages were subsequently destroyed,” the FBI said.

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There have been no known reports of individuals sickened by Lohr’s alleged actions, according to the FBI.

Lohr’s arrest comes four months after police in Phoenix, Arizona, arrested him in October 2018 after Target employees allegedly saw him pouring chemicals on items in an Ahwatukee store.

Store reps said “potential tampering” of frozen pizzas, ice cream and fresh beef, pork and chicken products occurred at the location as well as in at least six stores in the Tempe, Chandler and Scottsdale areas, according to a statement from Target, which was obtained by the Arizona Republic.

Lohr was taken into a Maricopa County jail and held on a $10,000 bond. It is not immediately clear when he was released.

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And two years prior, In April 2016, Lohr was charged with vandalism and petty theft involving ice and a toilet at a Rite Aid store in Orange County, California, according to the Orange County Register, which also reported that he was accused of the same charges in connection with ice at a nearby Ralphs market.

Lohr, who is currently being held in Santa Clara County in San Jose, California, is expected to make an initial federal court appearance Friday. It was not immediately clear if Lohr has retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who may have been sickened is urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.