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Criminals: “We Love These Mask Requirements!”

Wearing a mask in public would typically heighten flags for those around you, but not now. It’s the norm, and it’s probably going to be that way for the foreseeable future.

Some locations have been requiring that masks be worn, and that’s coming to be a safe haven for criminals. Like this guy.

The way the FBI tells it, William Rosario Lopez put on a surgical mask and walked into the Connecticut convenience store looking to the world like a typical pandemic-era shopper as he picked up plastic wrap, fruit snacks and a few other items. Then, when the only other customer left, he went to the counter, pulled out a small pistol, pointed it at the clerk and demanded that he open the cash register.

The scene, the FBI contends in a court document, was repeated by Lopez in four other gas station stores over eight days before his April 9 arrest. It underscores a troubling new reality for law enforcement: Masks that have made criminals stand apart long before bandanna-wearing robbers knocked over stagecoaches in the Old West and ski-masked bandits held up banks now allow them to blend in like concerned accountants, nurses and store clerks trying to avoid a deadly virus.

via AP

Police believe that the number of crimes involving masks, and gloves, is on the rise. And why wouldn’t it be? Criminals are opportunistic creatures, and while everyone else is running around with masks, it’s the perfect opportunity for them to conceal their identity while up to no good.

What about the good guys? Can carrying a firearm while wearing a mask get you arrested? Take a look at that answer here.

It’s a new world for us, and one that we should be navigating with caution. There’s no difference here, though, when it comes to masks and situational awareness. We’re still looking around, paying attention to our world, and noticing things that seem out of place. That shouldn’t change.

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