Well, it’s happened — like you knew it would.
The proliferation of masks in our society has resulted in a giant increase in armed robberies.
Call it a newfound element of surprise.
In the past, that ski-masked dude beside you at the bank might raise suspicion.
But now, the armed and aspiring thief wouldn’t stand out — he’s just another guy protecting his (and your) health. Until he hits you with a hammer.
And police are noticing: In Santa Ana, California, cops report a 50% increase in robberies since the lockdown began.
Gas station/convenience store owner Elias Khawan recently described the situation to CBS-LA:
“It’s horrible. I mean, I know we have to take certain measures because of what’s happening with COVID-19, but it’s the perfect script or manual for a robber — the mask, the sunshade and a hoodie. You don’t know who’s coming, who’s walking in.”
As noted by Channel 2, such an incident occurred last month in San Bernardino County:
“In an April robbery, a thief hid his face with a bandana at a doughnut shop on Bristol. The cashier was caught off guard when the thief pulled out a gun and placed it on the counter. The thief then emptied both registers before getting away.”
Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna lamented the new normal:
“It’s the norm. So we’re seeing more and more suspects wearing the mask and using that to their benefit.”
In Connecticut, a guy’s been charged with five gas station robberies — all while sportin’ his pandemic-friendly faceguard.
And here’s a surgically-masked man officials believe may be responsible for six bank robberies:
“Criminals, they’re smart and this is a perfect opportunity for them to conceal themselves and blend right in.”
Well, some are crafty; I’ve been collecting exceptions for your pleasure:
And the crown jewel:
But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if everyone looks like a robber, it’s easier to be one.
More from the AP:
In March, two men walked into Aqueduct Racetrack in New York wearing the same kind of surgical masks as many racing fans there and, at gunpoint, robbed three workers of a quarter-million dollars they were moving from gaming machines to a safe. Other robberies involving suspects wearing surgical masks have occurred in North Carolina, and Washington, D.C, and elsewhere in recent weeks. … [T]he prevalence of masks in society has created other problems for law enforcement. Before life in a pandemic, masked marauders had to free their faces immediately after leaving a bank or store to avoid suspicion once in the general public. But it came with the risk of being photographed and identified through omnipresent surveillance cameras and cellphones. These days, they can keep the masks on and blend in easily with or without being “captured” in images.
We’re living in dangerous times — not only might you catch the coronavirus, but amid everyone’s effort to keep from getting it, you may find yourself on the wrong end of a stick-up.
And not the deodorizing kind.
But that’d be of particular use as of late, because all of this stinks.