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Quick-Thinking Quick Chek Clerk Averts Potential Tragedy

SOMERVILLE, N.J. -- The Associated Press reported that a call from an alert Quick Chek convenience store clerk here may have prevented another national catastrophe.

The clerk called authorities about a suspicious person. Authorities discovered the man was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a loaded assault rifle along with four magazines of ammunition.

Then, back in the man's motel room, authorities found a small arsenal: a grenade launcher, more rifles, a night-vision scope and a map of the Fort Drum Army base in upstate New York, according to the AP.

Prosecutors identified the man as Lloyd Woodson, a 43-year old former Navy man. The FBI said Woodson did not appear to have any connections to terrorist groups, but the weapons and map raised questions about what the man was planning -- especially in light of recent terror incidents in the air above Detroit and at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas. Fort Drum is located about a five-hour drive from the Red Mill Inn in Branchburg, N.J., where the man was staying.

Mike Murphy, a senior vice president for Quick Check, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., said the clerk's call "averted a possible problem at our store and certainly averted a problem somewhere else."

Murphy said prosecutors asked him not to say what raised the worker's suspicions.

Woodson was jailed on New Jersey state weapons charges. A New Jersey state judge Tuesday set bail for Woodson at $75,000, and he appeared in court for an arraignment that lasted only a moment, according to the AP report.

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