Man arrested on suspicion of food tampering at Target store

PHOENIX (AP) — A man was arrested and accused of food tampering after he allegedly poured liquids into a freezer case at a Target store, authorities said Wednesday.

Police said David Clare Lohr Jr., 48, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of adding a harmful substance to food and that investigators believed he was involved in previous potential tampering incidents at five other Target stores in Phoenix and three suburbs.

Nobody required medical treatment as a result of the Tuesday incident, said Capt. Rob McDade, a Phoenix Fire Department spokesman. Target said in a statement that no illnesses related to contaminants have been reported to the company.

A Target employee called police after seeing a person pouring liquid in the store, said Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, a police department spokeswoman. Target personnel were on the lookout for possible tampering attempts because of the previous incidents, at least some of which occurred earlier in October, Fortune said.

McDade said the store where liquid was poured Tuesday was evacuated and hazardous material personnel were summoned but that the liquid, apparently a mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, was not toxic.

Target spokeswoman Danielle Schumann said Lohr wasn’t a current or former Target employee but that any inquiry about a possible motive should be directed to law enforcement.

No information on a possible motive was immediately available, Fortune said.

All food products that might have been subjected to tampering were removed from stores, Target said in a statement. “Food safety is critically important to Target and we take seriously our responsibility to offer safe products to our guests,” the company said.

Lohr remained in jail Wednesday, and court records don’t list a defense attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Court records don’t list an address for Lohr but say he recently arrived in Arizona and was staying in a hotel.

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