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Cops arrest E. Northport couple in Jell-O tampering case

Police have charged Alexander Clement and his wife

Police have charged Alexander Clement and his wife Christine Clement of East Northport with five counts of petty larceny and five counts of second-degree tampering with a consumer product. They are accused of tampering with Jell-O boxes they purchased and returned to local supermarkets. Photo Credit: SCPD

An East Northport couple in their 60s, Alexander and Christine Clement, are behind the Jell-O pudding scare that surfaced on Long Island in recent days, Suffolk police said.

Police, who charged the couple Sunday, said the retirees meant no harm and could not provide a sensible motive for their actions.

"It's bizarre," said Suffolk Police Lt. Michael Murphy. "I like having answers and I don't have them for you."

Police said their investigation found that Christine Clement, 64, purchased the Jell-O, removed the pudding mix, refilled the boxes with sandwich bags containing salt and sand, and returned them for a refund.

Murphy said the woman did not understand that the returned boxes might go back on store shelves.

As for Alexander Clement, 68, Murphy said: "He knew it was wrong what she was doing, but he was the dutiful husband who drove his wife to do what she had to and stood by while she did what she did."

Nobody was injured by the adulterated packages, police said, which turned up last week at supermarkets in Brookhaven, Smithtown, Huntington and Woodbury.

The Clements, of 139 Dickinson Ave., were each charged with five counts of petty larceny and five counts of second degree tampering with a consumer product.

Sunday night, they were being processed by Nassau police, who are expected to charge them in the Woodbury tampering case.

Police said leads and reviewing hours of surveillance video led them to the couple, who are to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip at a later date.

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