A shoplifting cop is the last thing that embattled New Jersey governor Chris Christie needs these days. On the other hand, perhaps the pilfering policeman can take a little heat off of Christie’s antics.
According to a report Monday from The Associated Press, New Jersey State Trooper William Carvounis, 35, of North Brunswick, pulled an old bait and switch, appropriately, at a Cabelas sporting goods store back on Jan. 8.
According to the complaint, Carvounis pocketed a few handgun grips, a pistol magazine and a hat into his cargo pants. He also evidently felt that a $29.99 binocular strap was far too pricey, and swapped it out by placing it into a box for a product with a price tag of $19.99.
The concealed items were worth close to $270, which equates to a first-degree misdemeanor that can carry up to five years in prison.
When confronted by store officials and the local police, the cop said he was afraid that if his crimes were reported, he might lose his job as a member of Gov. Chris Christie's security detail.
Tilden Township Police Chief William McEllroy said Carvounis wanted a cop-to-cop break.
"It was, more or less, 'Look, I've got a good job, I'm on the governor's security detail, I don't want to lose my job,' along those lines," McEllroy said. “It was more or less one cop asking another cop for a break, multiple times.”
Trooper Carvounis retained an attorney, Charles Sciarra, who said his client denies he sought special treatment from the arresting officers.
"The initial reports we have don't indicate anything about such a request," said Sciarra. "With that said, my client made purchases that day and denies any allegation of any shoplifting. And quite frankly, we see no connection between what's occurred in the store in Pennsylvania and his duties for the New Jersey State Police."
Carvounis has been suspended while the investigation is ongoing.