Suspect sought for possible food tampering at Tahoe shopping center |

Suspect sought for possible food tampering at Tahoe shopping center

Claire Cudahy
Photos of the suspect accused of tampering with food at Raley's on Nov. 15 were captured from surveillance footage.
Courtesy / South Lake Tahoe Police Department |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Police are searching for a suspect connected to at least four incidents of food tampering at Raley’s near Heavenly Village.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, South Lake Tahoe Police officers responded to a report of possible food tampering at the Hot Wok self-serve food court inside Raley’s.

According to law enforcement officials, an unidentified suspect walked into the store, approached the self-serve food display in the food court, and proceeded to intentionally dispense “an unknown type of contaminating substance” on top of the food.

The suspect then exited the store and left the area on foot.

Upon reviewing store surveillance video footage, police believe that the same suspect has committed this act on at least three additional occasions, starting Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Investigators have collected samples of the contaminant for laboratory analysis in order to identify the substance. There is no estimate on when these results will be released.

Police officials have been in touch with the El Dorado County Environmental Management and Public Health Divisions; there have been no reports of illnesses associated with these incidents.

The suspect is described as a white adult male, about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a black hat, dark sunglasses, black long-sleeved shirt, black backpack and blue jeans.

If you have information on the investigation, please contact South Lake Tahoe Police Department at 530-542-6100 or Secret Witness at 530-541-6800.

It is a felony to willfully add a poison or damaging substance to any food, drink or medicine, and punishable by imprisonment for two, four or five years.

Raley’s is located at 4000 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in the “Crescent V” shopping center.

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