Earlier this month, police in Oregon arrested a man who allegedly stole thousands of N95 respirator masks from a nonprofit organization.
The Portland Police Bureau said in a statement that officers responded to The Rebuilding Center on March 6 following reports that someone stole 20 to 25 cases containing N95 respirator masks. Each case contained 400 masks — amounting to a loss of $2,500.
A day after the call, a center employee discovered someone selling what she believed were the stolen masks on Craigslist. The employee reportedly arranged a meeting with the seller and contacted the Beaverton Police Department, who arrested the suspect on a first-degree theft charge.
The Portland Police Bureau identified the suspect as Vladislav V. Drozdek, 42. The agency said that 6 of the stolen cases were originally recovered. A follow-up investigation produced 7 additional boxes on Friday.
Officers returned the stolen respirator masks to The Rebuilding Center, who immediately donated them to local hospitals.
Authorities said additional arrests and charges are pending.
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[Featured image: Vladislav Drozdek/Portland Police Bureau]