Facemasks wearing rule could be fuelling robberies

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Criminals may be exploiting Covid laws on facemask wearing to carry out robberies and other offences, police warned.

A recent spate of gunpoint robberies has seen a string of local businesses targeted and even a private home where an elderly man was shot.

Police have stepped up patrols across Antigua in a bid to crack down on the scourge, as the nation prepares to welcome an influx of tourists.

Police Public Relations Officer Inspector Frankie Thomas believes that some persons entering business places with caps or hoodies along with dark glasses and face masks are taking advantage of the fact that the attire no longer attracts suspicion

“I think in the recent incidents we would have seen that that in itself would have been a reason for persons to be refused to enter business places”, he told Observer.

In an attempt to reduce these incidents, police have increased surveillance around the capital and in communities and are using stop and search methods to help root out illegally owned firearms.

Just Thursday, the police spotted a man on St Mary’s Street who they said was “acting suspicious”. They pursued him, then searched him and found a small amount of cannabis on his person.

Last week, police put up a 25,000 EC dollar reward for anyone providing information leading to the arrest of a suspect involved in one of four recent attempted robberies.

Anyone with credible information on any of the incidents should call CID on 462-3913. That number again is 462-3913.

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