A pandemic does not put an end to crime and during a time when face coverings are essential, identifying suspects is becoming more of a challenge for law enforcement.
According to Crimestoppers Honolulu, criminals are taking advantage that more people are wearing face masks to blend in and disguise themselves to try to get away with it.
Sgt. Chris Kim said more criminals are being caught by surveillance footage wearing surgical masks.
Kim said, “These criminals are actually being pretty smart now they are adjusting with the time, they are using this COVID pandemic to their advantage.”
It is not surprising for outlaws to wear some sort of face-covering to hide their identity but now there is the possibility of suspects not raising suspicion as everyone is also being asked to wear a mask.
Kim is calling for people to be more than bystanders and be on the lookout for clues that could help police.
Kim said, “We want the public to pay attention to other cues mannerisms, scars, marks, tattoos, clothing, a limp and accent. Pay attention to their skin color, eyes, hair, so there are other ways we can identify these people.”
The sergeant said looking for these details in suspects will help move an investigation.
Kim said, “Now we want the public to know about these questions or pay attention to these types of things because these are types of things that will be useful or helpful to the police.”
While face masks are required to enter shops, Kim said businesses should be aware of people hiding their face with other intentions other than to shop.
“When they see customers coming in they seem a little antsy, a little suspicious if they are fully covered up,” Kim said. “Ask them to remove the covering on their head, leave the face mask on but anything else you could ask them to remove it.”
Kim reminds people of general safety rules, such as avoid being out late at night, not to carry lots of cash or wear expensive jewelry.