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Reno man pleads guilty to stealing masks from VA hospital

June 9, 2020 GMT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A 35-year-old Reno man awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to stealing hundreds of surgical masks from a Veterans Affairs hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Lucas pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Reno to one count of theft in connection with health care.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Nevada says Lucas faces up to a year in prison and up to $250,000 in fines at his scheduled Sept. 9 sentencing.

Lucas was a compensated member of a VA work therapy program that helps veterans find work, prosecutors said.

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According to court documents, the alleged thefts happened in March. Surveillance cameras caught Lucas stealing at least four boxes of surgical masks from supply carts and hiding them under his jacket before leaving the hospital.

Lucas told police he took the masks to give them to homeless people, according to a criminal complaint.

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