CLIFTON, N.J. - A New Jersey State Police trooper on Gov. Chris Christie's security detail has been suspended without pay after allegedly shoplifting from a store in Berks County.
Trooper William Carvounis tried to leave Cabela's in Tilden Township, near Hamburg, with $267.38 worth of merchandise, according to court documents.
The alleged theft, which was captured by the store's surveillance cameras, happened on Jan. 8, police said Monday. Carvounis was charged Jan. 9 with two counts of retail theft, one a misdemeanor; the other a summary offense.
"Too bad, too sad. You do the crime, you do the time," said Denise Hersh, who had some tough talk for the trooper.
"Cops are people just like everybody else and should be held to the same law," said Chris Borrell, who lives in Harrisburg.
According to court documents, Carvounis, 35, of North Brunswick, N.J., took items out of their package and stuffed them in his pockets, then placed the empty packages on shelves throughout the store.
Carvounis also ripped the tags off two hats and placed one on his head and the other in his basket, said police.
Carvounis also placed a binocular strap, priced at $29.99, into another package valued at $19.99 and paid the lower price at checkout, according to court documents, which also outlined the items police said Carvounis concealed in the cargo pockets of his pants and failed to pay for at checkout:
- Blackhawk heavy-duty push-button sling swivel - 2 at $16.99
- MS3 single QD sling - 1 at $57.99
- Kimber .22 pistol magazine - 1 at $19.99
- Extreme density chokes - 1 at $10.59
- Orange/tan lanyards heavy hauler - 2 at $14.99
- Archangel 1911 crip panels (alum) - 1 at $24.99
- Extreme Hogue handgun grips G10 - 1 at $49.88
- Cabela's hat - 1 at $24.99
- Tri-mag coupler - 1 at $14.99
Total value: $267.38
"He denies the allegations of shoplifting and we're going to be setup with some court dates in the near future and that will run its course," said Charles Sciarra, Carvounis' attorney.
Sciarra also denied his client asked for special treatment for fear of losing his job.
"The only time my client identified himself as a state trooper in New Jersey was when he was asked what authority he had to carry the weapon he was carrying," said Sciarra.
Christie is already under fire and declared his innocence with the Bridgegate scandal.
Now, his bodyguard's job, which brings in more than $95,000 a year, could be in jeopardy if the allegations are true.
"People make mistakes. Just because they're state troopers don't mean they can't make mistakes," said Bob Reed, of Tamaqua, Schuylkill Co.
Carvounis is due to appear before a Berks County judge for his arraignment on Feb. 10.
Allentown, PA 18102