DENVILLE, NJ - Instead of finding himself at the corner of happy and healthy, a man accused of stealing merchandise from a local Walgreens found himself in handcuffs recently, thanks to an alert off-duty Denville police officer, police said.

Denville police said they'd been investigating a shoplifting that took place on Dec. 19 at the Walgreens at 22 West Main St. The probe led them to identify the thief as Bernard Christian, 48, of Linden. They said Christian, joined by an unidentified woman, stole about $150 worth of merchandise and fled.

The whereabouts of Christian and the woman remained unknown until Jan. 1, police said. On that day, Christian decided to return to the pharmacy, according to police.

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He picked a bad time to do so, as an off-duty Denville police officer happened to be in the store and recognized Christian.

"As the off-duty officer walked towards the front door, he confirmed Christian's identity and took him into custody," police said. "However, the female fled the scene."
Police said Christian was found to be in possession of "several stolen boxes of medication from Walgreens and a number of other stores and a crack pipe."

After being charged, Christian was placed in the Morris County jail, police said.