South Florida is reportedly seeing a rise in robbers who’ve exploited the coronavirus pandemic by blending in — walking into banks wearing face masks just like everybody else and raising no red flags.
Five bank heists were done by the same mask-wearing robber, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
And the bandits are blending in not only with face masks, but with gloves that people also wear to avoid COVID-19 infections. For robbers, however, the gloves mean they don’t leave any fingerprints either, the news outlet noted.
''Wearing a face covering when inside a bank used to be a fairly reliable indicator that the individual was considering robbing the bank,'' FBI Special Agent James Lewis, who leads the violent crime division of the Bureau’s Miami field office, told the Sun-Sentinel.
The FBI identified Aaron Honaker, 41, of Miami, as the man who struck multiple banks, including the Coral Gables branches of a Citibank, Wells Fargo, Chase Bank, and HSBC Bank, as well as a Chase Bank branch in Aventura.
With several bank robberies happening during the pandemic, the FBI has sought the public’s help by publicly circulating surveillance images of masked robbers, the Sun-Sentinel reported, adding heists have occurred across the region — and every suspect is wearing a mask, neck gaiter, or bandanna.
''A person who thinks the mask is going to camouflage them and not get them caught — it’s not a realistic point of view,'' Paul Miller, a retired FBI special agent, told the Sun-Sentinel.
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