A New Jersey state trooper who is a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s security detail was allegedly caught shoplifting at a Pennsylvania Cabela’s and then name-dropped his boss in an attempt to get out of facing criminal charges.
State Trooper William Carvounis, a 35-year-old New Jersey state trooper from North Brunswick, N.J., allegedly shoplifted at a Cabela’s Outfitters in Reading, Pa., on Jan. 8, stealing gun accessories and a hat, the Associated Press reported Monday. The items, which Carvounis allegedly hid in his cargo pants, were worth $267.38.
At the time of his arrest, Carvounis asked authorities to go easy on him because he works for Christie and he could lose his job, Tilden Township Police Chief William McEllroy told New Jersey Watchdog. Carvounis was charged with two counts of retail theft.
“He said he makes $140,000 a year and he's afraid of losing his job," McEllroy told the website, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, adding, “We don't give preferential treatment when someone breaks the law."
McEllroy backed off those comments a bit to the AP, declining to say whether the trooper actually mentioned Christie’s name. “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,” he said.
The trooper’s attorney, Charles Sciarra, denied the shoplifting charges. He also said his client did not try to persuade authorities into letting him go without charges.
"The initial reports we have don't indicate anything about such a request," Sciarra told the AP. “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 is free on bond and is expected to be arraigned Monday in Berks County, Pa., Common Pleas Court, according to NBC News.