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Cumberland County District Attorney Skip Ebert is warning customers of Silver Spring and Hampden Township stores that someone has tampered with potentially hundreds of items before returning them.

Ebert said Tuesday that the investigation started when a resident on Aug. 2 reported buying toothpaste from Giant Food Stores in Silver Spring Township. When the Sensodyne brand toothpaste package was opened, the product within the box was a different brand of toothpaste.

Ebert said the toothpaste had also been altered with an unknown substance.

Silver Spring Township Police traced the item with the cooperation of Giant, and they were able to determine that it was returned by a previous customer.

Through an investigation, police learned the same person had purchased hundreds of items from stores, including but not limited to Walmart, CVS Pharmacy and Wegmans, in both Silver Spring and Hampden townships, Ebert said.

The person altered products, including medications and other health and beauty items, before returning them. Because the items were repackaged by the person without any apparent damage, the items were restocked and resold, according to Ebert.

The suspect’s name was not released, but Ebert said police have recovered several items and are warning the public about the issue.

Ebert said forensic experts are working to identify substances seized when authorities searched a Mechanicsburg residence.

He said there are no reports of people being sickened.

If anyone in the community believes they have purchased an item that has been tampered with, they can call Detective Andrew Bassler of Silver Spring Township Police at 717-591-8240 or abassler@sstwp.org.

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