Shaun Lamar Moor, 40, was arrested by police and taken into custody after he was spotted riding a bicycle, according to a report by the Davis Police Department.
The police had been searching for Mr Moor since 11 April when he allegedly entered the Sutter Davis Hospital and stole a sealed COVID-19 specimen that was awaiting testing. He then left the area on a bicycle.
The hospital released a statement following the theft.
“Sutter Davis Hospital is committed to providing high-quality care to the Yolo Country 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,” the statement said.
Later that night, the police received a report that a sealed COVID-19 container had been found in a shopping cart outside a local CVS Pharmacy. After recovering the specimen, the hospital confirmed it was the specimen that had been stolen and that the specimen had not been compromised or otherwise opened.
Davis Police Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov, speaking with FOX40 News, said the officers had no idea what Mr Moor’s motive was at the time of the theft.
“I think the concerning thing was, is somebody going to purposefully try to infect people using this virus?” Mr Doroshov said.
Mr Moor’s image was captured by a hospital security camera as he left with the specimen. A police officer found information leading to the man’s identification by asking around local homeless enclaves, according to KCRA 3 News.
The following day, police officers spotted Mr Moor riding his bike and took him into custody. Mr Moore was apparently taken into custody without issue and was booked into the Yolo County Jail on burglary charges.
The Davis police said they had previous encounters with Mr Moore and insinuated that mental health issues may have factored into his decision to steal the specimen.
“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,” Mr Doroshov said.
In a Facebook post, the department suggested that Mr Moor may not have meant harm when he stole the specimen.
“Although the incident is very serious, Detectives do not believe he intended to harm himself or others,” the post said.
While the incident had the city on edge for a day, Mr Doroshov hopes Mr Moor’s arrest and the return of the sealed COVID-19 sample to the hospital can put people’s concerns at ease.
“As much fear as this may have caused in the community, we wrapped it up pretty quickly so hopefully those fears can subside now,” Mr Doroshov said.
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