It turns out wearing a mask in public, doing the right thing to stop the spread, is making it easier for crooks to do the wrong thing. We've already seen it happen when an armed robbery suspect hit up a Midland gas station on April 8th.
"The suspect went in, he was wearing a mask, unfortunately a lot of people are wearing mask these days and bad guys are taking advantage of it by blending right in," says Detective Ed Troyer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
The suspect's appearance likely didn't send off any alarm bells, until he pulled out his gun. It's an eerily similar scenario to what happened on Saturday night at the Quality Inn in Lacey. He spent some time chatting up the front desk receptionist about available rooms before pulling out his gun. If it were any other time, the bandannas covering their faces would've been an immediate giveaway.
"More people have masks on than ever before, and before you would never see somebody, show up to a bank with a mask on, and now a lot of people are showing up to the bank with a mask on," says Sgt. Ryan Abbott with the King County Sheriff's Office.
His point brings up the obvious: none of us want to be confused as a bank robber.
"They're are a lot of people wearing masks to protect themselves from Covid, and they're not doing anything wrong. But then there are people and they just don't seem right and if there's something they're doing that's catching your attention then there's likely something not right about it," says Abbott.
For the rest of us wearing masks, know this: you can help keep clerks at ease by keeping your hands visible, because this is the last thing those working the register should be worried about at this time.