Thieves in Williams Lake are using COVID-19 restrictions requiring face masks to their advantage to commit crimes in the lakecity.
Two recent, bold thefts have prompted Sandtronic Business Systems Ltd. to require customers to remove masks, head coverings and sunglasses so they can be properly identified before shopping.
Store manager Adam Sandberg said when two laptops and two drones were stolen and video surveillance depicted suspects whose faces were covered, management decided to make some changes.
“We made a little corral area up front for people to sign in their names and phone numbers,” he told the Tribune.
Customers are kept at the front door a little longer and required to remove all hats, scarves, sunglasses and masks, look at the camera.
They then pull the masks back on.
One employee has been assigned to ensure the protocol is followed, which Sandberg said is a ‘pain’ for the 98 per cent of customers who are not there to steal anything.
So far customers have been understanding and there have not been any complaints about the measures, as lots of other businesses are asking customers to sign in for COVID-19 contract tracing, Sandberg said.
Theft has been more of a concern since COVID-19 restrictions required mask wearing.
“It’s a lot easier for people to get away with it,” he added.
STOLEN from Sandtronic. 2 x DJI Mavic Mini 2 Fly More Combo kits.
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Williams Lake RCMP are investigating the thefts, he confirmed.