Suspect sought for possible food tampering at Raley’s in South Lake Tahoe |

Suspect sought for possible food tampering at Raley’s in South Lake Tahoe

by 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 |

Police are searching for a man connected to at least four incidents of food tampering at Raley’s near Heavenly Village.

On Tuesday, 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, police believe that the same suspect has committed this act on at least three additional occasions, starting on 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 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.

South Lake Tahoe Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.

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, contact the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at 530-542-6100 or Secret Witness at 530-541-6800.

If you believe that you have become ill due to the incidents of possible food tampering, contact a medical provider and the El Dorado County Environmental Management Division at 530-573-3453 or 530-621-5300.

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.