GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper is accused of stealing $5,000 worth of exercise equipment from a gym before it reopened to the public amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to authorities.

The Gastonia-based officer, Jerome John Letcavage, 44, was charged with larceny on Saturday afternoon and released with a written promise to appear in court, news outlets reported, citing the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office inmate database.

The trooper was accused of taking weights and resistance bands from a local YMCA on Wednesday, three days before it officially reopened, WCNC-TV reported. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper lifted restrictions Friday that had kept such exercise centers closed for months during the pandemic.

A spokesperson for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol told the news outlet that Letcavage remained employed with the agency, but that personnel issues involving suspensions or terminations were handled through the Raleigh office.

Authorities did not say why Letcavage was at the gym. It was unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment for him.


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