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20-year-old shoplifting suspect drowns while trying to escape police

WOODBURY, New Jersey — Authorities say a shoplifting suspect in New Jersey drowned when he ran from police and then tried to swim away in a lake.

Gloucester County prosecutors say officers approached the 20-year-old man at a Woodbury convenience store around 3:50 a.m. Saturday, August 12th and tried to speak with him. But they say he ran off and jumped into nearby Woodbury Lake.

The officers ordered the man to leave the water. But they soon lost sight of him when he swam under a bridge.

Emergency responders then searched the water for the man but could not find him. A state police dive team eventually found his body around 10:30 a.m.

An autopsy determined the death was an accidental drowning. His identity has not been released.