Saturday, June 22, 2024

South Jersey man arrested for stowing baby deer in shopping bag, police say

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A Mays Landing man surprised police in Stafford Township this month when officers discovered he was hiding a baby deer inside a shopping bag at a ShopRite, authorities said.

Police were called to investigate suspected shoplifting at the grocery store on Route 72 on June 1. When officers arrived around 6 p.m., they found Matthew Keithley, 23, walking around the area of the ShopRite, police said.

As officers asked Keithley questions, they noticed a foal poking its head out of the shopping bag. Police told Keithley he was being arrested for illegal possession of a deer, authorities said. Keithley allegedly attempted to run, but was caught and taken into custody.

Authorities alleged Keithley gave officers a fake name and was also in possession of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. He had active warrants in Atlantic County.

Keithley is charged with illegal possession of a deer, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest by flight and providing false information to a law enforcement officer. He’s being held at Ocean County Jail.

Authorities said the foal was released in the wild near where Keithley had found the animal.

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