Police: Delano business owner bought surgical masks then sold them for double original price

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Delano Police Department

This story has been updated as of May 26, 2020. The District Attorney’s office did not file charges.

DELANO, Calif. (KGET) — A business owner who had been warned against price gouging went to a big box store to purchase surgical masks then sold them for double their original price, police said.

The case against the owner of Delano Super Plus has been sent to the District Attorney’s office for review, according to Delano police.

Officers who investigated an anonymous call regarding the business at 1220 Main St. determined the owner bought at least five boxes of 50-count disposable surgical masks for $25 per box. She then returned to her store and sold the masks individually for 99 cents, or a box for $49.99 plus tax.

The owner told detectives surgical masks were not an item she regularly sold at the store. Detectives determined she had previously been given educational information regarding price gouging, and that it was illegal.

The DA’s office is investigating multiple cases of alleged price gouging that have been reported since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

“The Delano Police Department is aggressively working with the Kern County District Attorney’s office to protect the citizens of Kern County and the City of Delano from price gouging during the recent national emergency,” the department said on Facebook. “Businesses caught price gouging will be held fully responsible and will be prosecuted.”

Anyone suspecting price gouging within the City of Delano is asked to call the Delano Police Department at 721-3377. Provide the name of the store, the price and item.

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