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Arrest after Auburn store’s filthy food-handling alert

Homeless man arrested at Safeway
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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The arrest was for loitering but a homeless man’s visit to bulk food bins at a North Auburn supermarket led to serious health concerns that resulted in the food he handled being thrown out.

Eric Antonio Valdovinos, 39, a transient, was arrested on a loitering charge outside North Auburn’s Safeway.

A Placer County Sheriff’s Office arrest report from the Sept. 6 incident stated the suspect had no money when he entered the Bell Road store, headed toward the bins and started handling and sampling foods.

The man made both store employees and customers “uncomfortable” as he touched nut bins and “fondled” food items, sometimes eating out of the bins with “filthy hands,” the report said.

A used piece of toilet paper containing fecal matter was observed hanging from his pants, the report said.

After the arrest, Safeway had to replace all items touched by the suspect, the report said.

Jail logs show that Valdovinos has since been released from jail.