FBI Los Angeles
Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller
(310) 996-3343
February 11, 2019

Man Arrested by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Based on Federal Charges Filed in Los Angeles Alleging He Tampered and Attempted to Tamper with Consumer Products

Law Enforcement Seeks Information

A man who has been living as a transient has been arrested by sheriff’s deputies in Santa Clara County, California, and is charged federally with tampering and attempting to tamper with consumer products, announced Paul Delacourt, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and Nick Hanna, the United States attorney in Los Angeles.

The FBI in Los Angeles was recently notified by supermarket investigators of a man seen on videotape entering some of their markets who then obtained bleach readily available on shelves and proceeded to pour the bleach in freezers that contained packaged consumer products.

David Clare Lohr, 48, was charged in a federal criminal complaint in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles with tampering and attempting to tamper with consumer products. Agents had been seeking Lohr’s whereabouts until his arrest in Northern California last week.

On Wednesday, February 6, deputies with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office arrested Lohr in Sunnyvale, California, after the sheriff’s office and the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety received a report of a male spreading white powder and hydrogen peroxide aboard a public bus (powder later determined to be salt).

Further investigation by Santa Clara County deputies led to a person matching the description of the suspect located at a bus stop in Los Altos, California. Deputies found the FBI warrant for Lohr after doing a records check and took Lohr into custody, where he currently remains. Deputies conducted further investigation and determined that Lohr had allegedly poured hydrogen peroxide on or near rotisserie chickens at a Sunnyvale supermarket.

The federal complaint filed in Los Angeles alleges that in December 2018 and January 2019, Lohr was seen on surveillance videos pouring bleach into refrigerators and freezers containing packaged consumer products (such as ice, alcoholic beverages, and packaged frozen seafood) at supermarket locations in multiple cities in Southern California, including Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and West Los Angeles. Some customers reported smelling bleach on products. Tampered packages were subsequently destroyed.

Lohr is believed to have poured bleach into refrigerators or freezers while the grocery store locations were open to the public. Bleach contains hazardous chemicals that can cause serious eye irritation, skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Screenshot of Seeking Information poster for David Clare Lohr, who was arrested for allegedly tampering with consumer products in California.

Select to view poster and related information

To date, there have been no known reports of individuals sickened by Lohr’s actions; however, further investigation has determined that Lohr has done this in a variety of stores, and the extent of his actions are currently under investigation.

The FBI and our law enforcement counterparts would like to hear from anyone who believes they have been affected in any way by Lohr’s alleged actions, or anyone who may have information about the allegations against Lohr. Members of the public may call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

Lohr is being held in Santa Clara County and had an initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Friday, February 8, in Northern California. He is expected to be back in court this afternoon. He may also face state charges in Northern California. Lohr is facing charges in Arizona and Orange County, California, for similar behavior.

The federal criminal complaint and photographs of Lohr are being made available to the public. Lohr is described as a white male, approximately 5’10,” 260 lbs., and has blue eyes. Lohr is believed to have recently resided in short-term lodging throughout California. He is known to use public transportation to move between cities.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI and the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. The Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety provided assistance during the arrest of Lohr. Previous investigations have been conducted by police in Arizona and by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California. This investigation is continuing.

A complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in court.