WOODBRIDGE — An electrician working at a Prudential Financial office is accused of stealing 1,600 N95 respirator masks that were to be donated to a hospital.

Kevin R. Brady, 49, of Point Pleasant Beach, had unrestricted access to a storage cage in the office in the Iselin section of Woodbridge between March 27 and April 27 and stole seven or eight boxes of the masks, each of which contains 200 masks, according to Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet.

Prudential donated more than 150,000 masks, including 75,000 N95 masks in March.

Brady was arrested on Thursday and charged with third-degree theft by unlawful taking  and third-degree conspiracy to commit theft.

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The N95 respirator masks have become a valued commodity as the new coronavirus has swept the country and inundated hospitals and long-term care facilities. Nurses and other health care workers have taken to fashioning their own masks or accepting donations of homemade masks to protect themselves from infection.

Kuberiet did not reveal what happened to the masks. The prosecutor's office on Friday afternoon did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information.

Woodbridge police asked anyone with information about the case to call 732-634-7700.

A Manalapan company was charged Friday with falsely claiming it was an authorized distributor of 3M products after it tried to charge New York City five to six times the regular price for personal protective equipment, 3M said in a lawsuit filed Friday.

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Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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