A transient with a lengthy criminal history who poured bleach into refrigerators and freezers containing ice, beer and frozen seafood at supermarkets in Dana Point, Manhattan Beach and West Hollywood was sentenced Monday to over four years in federal prison.
David Claire Lohr, 48, was also ordered to pay $749 in restitution to Ralphs grocery stores and serve three years of supervised release following his 51-month prison term, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Lohr pleaded guilty in July in Los Angeles federal court to three counts of tampering with consumer products. No injuries were reported from the attacks.
In 2018 and 2019, surveillance videos captured Lohr pouring bottles of bleach into refrigerators and freezers containing products such as ice and alcoholic beverages at Ralphs locations in the Los Angeles area. Customers also reported smelling or handling frozen shrimp and other food products contaminated by bleach at some of those stores.
On Dec. 16, 2018, Lohr poured a bottle of bleach into a freezer containing ice at a Redondo Beach grocery store. During the incident, a customer and her child told a store employee that something was wrong with the ice. The employee grabbed the bag from the child, recognizing the odor of bleach. The mother and employee saw that the child’s black shirt had changed color to brown, the result of bleach being pressed against the material.
Bleach contains hazardous chemicals that can cause serious eye irritation, skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Along with mental health issues, Lohr has a lengthy criminal history that includes prior convictions for felony battery, felony assault on a police officer, multiple felony grand theft convictions, theft by check, reckless driving, fleeing/attempting to elude police, theft of property, concealed weapon, resisting an officer, possession of stolen property, and assault, according to federal prosecutors.
He was serving a term of probation at the time he committed the bleach attacks, court papers show.
Lohr was arrested in February 2019 by Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies in Sunnyvale after authorities received a report of a man spreading white powder and hydrogen peroxide on a public bus. The powder was later determined to be salt, federal authorities said.
Sheriff’s deputies discovered the federal arrest warrant for Lohr after taking him into custody at a bus stop. Authorities said Lohr also allegedly poured hydrogen peroxide on or near rotisserie chickens at a Sunnyvale supermarket.
Lohr is believed to have lived as a transient in short-term lodging throughout the state prior to his arrest and has been known to use public transportation to move between cities, according to the FBI.