Shoplifting Suspect Caught With Live Fawn, Crack: Stafford Police

MANAHAWKIN, NJ – A man stopped by police for suspected shoplifting was ultimately caught with a live deer and crack cocaine on him, Stafford police said.

On June 1, around 6 p.m., police were told that a shoplifting suspect had just left the ShopRite on Route 72.


Officers went to the area to search for the man and found Matthew Keithley, 23, of Mays Landing, who was carrying a reusable shopping bag, police said.

While they were talking to Keithley, a deer poked its head out of the top of the grocery bag, police said.

The officers told Keithley he was being held for illegal possession of a deer. Keithley lied about his identity and when told he was under arrest, he attempted to flee the area on foot, police said.

Keithley was quickly taken into custody, where police discovered he was also in possession of suspected crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

When police were able to properly identify Keithley, they found two warrants for his arrest in Atlantic County.

He was 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.

Keithley was taken to the Ocean County Jail and the fawn was returned to where it was found in the wild.

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