Alarm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is creating security problems in México state, where a gang of over 70 people looted a grocery store in the municipality of Tecámac on Monday night.
Dozens of men and women rushed a Bodega Aurerra Express supermarket and ransacked the shelves and displays, leaving them bare in their wake.
A video shared on social media by a neighbor of the store showed the empty shelves and random products scattered on the floor and out in the street.
Outnumbering employees and security personnel, the looters took food, alcohol and even money. Some employees were reported to have made off with some of the products not taken by looters.
Municipal and state police arrived on the scene minutes after the looters left. One of the officers was reported to have chided onlookers for not having tried to stop them, saying it was their responsibility as citizens to do so. No arrests have been reported.
Calls for widespread looting in México state have been making the rounds on social media for the last few days. Various Facebook groups, with names like “Covid-19 Looting” and “Looting 2020” have been promoting the idea of mass pillaging events, claiming impending food shortages.
“You can’t leave us without food,” said one post.
Besides Tecámac, the calls have been made to organize looting in the municipalities of Tlalnepantla, Ecatepec, Nicolás Romero, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Tultitlán, Zumpango and Chalco.
The state police department responded on social media by posting that it would conduct patrols to detect and deactivate any mass looting events.
There were multiple break-ins and robberies in the state on the weekend. Another store in Tecámac was raided and an Elektra electronics store in Tultitlán was vandalized on Friday, while robberies were reported in Ecatepec and Tultitlán on Sunday.
Governor Alfredo del Mazo Maza announced on Monday that all department stores and malls in the state would close in order to prevent people from gathering in crowds.