State Watch

Florida police issue nationwide alert after car stolen with vials of COVID-19 vaccine

Covid vaccine vial and syringe

Police in Plant City, Fla., have issued a nationwide person of interest alert after a car containing vials of the COVID-19 vaccine was stolen Wednesday.

About 30 vials were stolen during the robbery, amounting to about $10,000 worth of vaccine, according to NBC Miami.

According to a post on the department’s Facebook page, the incident occurred around 3 p.m. at the town’s Strawberry Festival Grounds.

It’s not yet clear who own the car, identified as a four-door, gray 2018 Hyundai Accent with a Florida tag of NPJJ58. The doses were being held in the vehicle ahead of distribution at the Plant City vaccination center, located on the festival grounds, and were properly refrigerated at the time, NBC Miami reports.

Police did not signal whether the suspect knew the vaccine doses were inside the vehicle prior to stealing it, but noted that the keys of the vehicle had been left in the ignition.

Plant City Police released surveillance footage of the suspect, described as a man in his early 20s with long hair, and encourage anyone with information on the person’s whereabouts to contact them at 813-757-9200.

Crime Stoppers Tampa Bay has issued a reward offer of up to $5,000 for information leading to the suspect’s arrest, according to CNN affiliate WKMG.

Florida has administered 2,320,966 vaccine doses to date, the state’s Department of Health states.

Tags COVID Florida Vaccine

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