Four Howell Officers, Civilians, Exposed to Shoplifter Who Knew He Was COVID-Positive

Yesterday at approximately 2 pm, Howell Police Communications received a report of a shoplifting in progress at Lowe’s.

Upon their arrival, patrol officers were met by civilians who had detained three suspects who attempted to steal over $2000 worth of power tools. Lowe’s security had been made aware of the three after they recently targeted other stores.

All three subjects were arrested, secured in patrol cars and transported to headquarters.

While enroute, it was learned by admission one of the suspects was positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Due to the trio having been together for an extended period of time during their stealing spree, including being in the same vehicle, it was assumed all three were positive.

By that time, four Howell officers were being treated for exposure. All three were inside the store without taking any type of precautions to protect others. The civilians who assisted now have to worry as well.

If not for privacy rights under HIPPA, their names would be announced. Normally, we would have publicly shamed them for their criminal and highly negligent behavior.

All three were charged with 3rd degree theft and released from headquarters.

“This is another example why it is so important to abide by the ‘Stay at Home’ order. If you need to go out, wear some sort of approved respiratory mask or facial covering. There are some out there like these three who don’t care about how their conduct affects you. Even if it results in you becoming seriously ill.” -Chief Kudrick

The four officers have been placed on administrative leave and must abide by quarantine procedures. They will be out at least a week and pending tests results.