Man arrested for stealing 100 vials of Covid vaccine

<p>A vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine</p> (REUTERS)

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine


A man has been arrested in Washington on suspicion of stealing 100 Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine shots, according to authorities.

The 30-year-old suspect was arrested on Wednesday by officers from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly stealing the vials containing coronavirus vaccines from a dentist in Purdy, south of Seattle.

According to the department, the suspect also stole $100,000 (£72,000) worth of medical equipment from the facility last Saturday, and a vial of Botox.

The sheriff’s department wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that a suspect – who is publicly unidentified – was arrested following the discovery of the items in bushes.

Weather destroyed some of the items, the department added, but that “most of the property” – including the Johnson & Johnson vaccines – was recovered.

“We have determined that the 30-year-old male suspect is also responsible for the burglary of a nearby salon, where products, styling tools and towels were stolen,” said the sheriff’s office. “A majority of that property has been recovered as well.”

In an alert last week, sheriffs informed residents of Pierce County not to accept Covid vaccines from unofficial providers or persons.

"So we ask the question, 'What would a thief want with 100 Covid-19 vaccines that you can get for free?' The answer is, 'We're not sure,'" the sheriff's department wrote on Facebook. "But we want you to be cautious if you come across someone who offers you a vaccine outside of official vaccination events, medical/dental offices or pharmacies."

It continued by saying that charges will be brought against the 30-year-old man, with the case forwarded to the office of the Pierce County prosecuting attorney.

It follows a recent warning from Pfizer of fake replicas of it’s Covid vaccine, and incidents involving individuals who have deliberately sabotaged a batch of shots – although both remain small in number