Criminals call to loot stores in the midst of the coronavirus emergency

Through social media, criminals are calling people to steal from stores

Criminals call to loot stores in the midst of the coronavirus emergency
The Mexican government must enforce the law and prevent the looting of stores - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 26/03/2020 09:42 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:51
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In recent days, criminals have taken advantage of the emergency sparked by the spread of COVID-19 and are calling to “lootstores, however, these actions are nothing but theft.

Thieves are not stealing basic products such as food, water, or diapers. They aim to steal merchandise that can be sold in the informal sector, therefore, authorities must search for these people in flea markets, markets, and online stores. Moreover, it’s not enough to find the stolen goods, authorities must detain the thieves and those who orchestrated the looting, as well as those who buy the stolen products.

In many cases, looting takes place during an emergency or an extreme situation and people break into a store and takes basic products but in this case, people aim to steal TVs, cigarettes, smartphones, and other electronic devices

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Criminals are calling to loot stores under the argument that they are taking what the government and the economic system have denied them, moreover, they could be the same criminals behind the looting of trucks or fuel theft. The method used is a stampede since people running in all directors could prevent any attempt to stop them. 

In regards to social media networks such as Facebook, they also have the responsibility to stop these types of messages; however, it seems like this is when their algorithm fails to detect publications related to crime. This is a huge contradiction since the social media network blocks images of the human body such as sculptures and monuments. 

Furthermore, although authorities have been alert and police officers were deployed outside stores that were supposed to be looted when the time comes to arrest someone, they are usually released soon after because of the lack of evidence or because justice systems describe these crimes as petty crimes

In reality, the problem is impunity because criminals know they might not be arrested and even if they are, they won’t be charged. This time, Mexican authorities have to enforce the law and punish those who are taking advantage of the coronavirus emergency. 

Recommended: How will the business sector handle the COVID-19 pandemic?

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