Ex-Marine Accused Of Stealing Hundreds Of Face Masks From a Veterans Administration Hospital

Peter Lucas claims he took the protective personal equipment to give to the homeless.

April 13, 2020

Peter Lucas [KOLO-TV screenshot]

Peter Lucas [KOLO-TV screenshot]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Nevada man is accused of stealing hundreds of face masks from a medical center, federal prosecutors announced.

Peter Lucas, 35, allegedly pilfered “at least four boxes of surgical masks from supply carts in his care” at Reno’s Ioannis A. Lougaris Veterans Administration Medical Center between Mar. 19 and 23, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada said in a statement.

Officials noted the veteran was a “compensated enrollee” in a vocational rehabilitation program at the VA hospital.

The alleged theft came to light after police looked into the cause of an electronic door alarm sounding on Mar. 19. Authorities claim surveillance camera footage shows Lucas hiding the boxes beneath his jacket and leaving the hospital. Police arrested the ex-Marine on Apr. 7.

According to Reno’s KOLO-TV, the Veterans Administration hospital has received only about a third of the 94,000 face masks they ordered for staff who are battling the coronavirus crisis.

Citing a criminal complaint, the station reported Lucas admitted he stole the surgical masks and had intended to hand them out to the homeless.

U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich said in the statement the theft of the much-needed personal protective equipment would not go unpunished since it could endanger “the safety of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals protecting our communities.”

“Our military veterans served on the front lines to protect our country, and now our health professionals are doing the same in our fight against Covid-19,” Trutanich added.

Lucas is charged with one count of theft of health care property. If convicted, he faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

He is scheduled to next appear in court via video conference on Apr. 17.

Next Up

Las Vegas Police Hunt Suspect Who Stole 14-Year-Old Boy's $40k/Month Cancer Meds

Surveillance footage captured a man with an orange in one hand and a soda can in the other walking up to Stacey Shavinsky's front door on Mill Canyon Drive.

'School Of Rock' Star & Guitarist Joey Gaydos, Jr., Busted For Stealing Guitars

Gaydos, who is known for his role as lead guitarist, Zack Mooneyham, in the fictional school band fronted by Jack Black, has been hit with felony charges for larceny and grand theft.

Virginia Police Say Man Wearing Baby T-Shirt As Mask Robbed 7-Eleven

Authorities are asking for help to identify the suspect, who allegedly had a knife.

Former Sheriff’s Deputy Burglarized Homes During Funerals, Police Say

If convicted, Janelle Gericke could face more than 12 years behind bars.

Janelle Brown On the Grift of Con Artists and Online Influencers

In our Q&A New York Times bestselling author Janelle Brown reveals her inspiration for her latest book comes from a Kim Kardashian incident in which Instagram played a key role.

Pretty Things

Two wildly different women—one a grifter, the other an heiress—are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear.

Cops Say Suspected Bank Robber Handed Teller a Note With His Name and Address On It

The accused thief allegedly used a form from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles that contained his contact information.

Texas Cops Say ‘Wedding Crasher’ Suspect Targets Events & Steals Gifts

The suspect has allegedly hit three celebrations and walked off with cash and gift cards; police have released security video images.

Ohio Woman Broke Into Home, Pet The Family Dog, Washed Dishes & Left, Cops Say

Police say Cheyenne Ewing appeared “under the influence of narcotics.”

Video Alarm System Saves California Family From Terrifying Home Invasion

She heard the robbers call her husband's name — a situation that, under other circumstances, could have caused her to open the door.