Some thieves in Hermosillo, Sonora, have taken to disguising themselves as heath workers in order to deceive senior citizens and steal their jewelry.
The modus operandi of the presumed swindlers is to arrive in an unmarked van dressed as medical professionals from the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS). They approach senior citizens outside their homes, discuss Covid-19 sanitation measures and finally offer to put antibacterial gel on their hands.
However, instead of hand sanitizer, the thief applies a type of oil that lubricates the hands and facilitates the theft of rings and other valuables.
IMSS reported at least two instances of this type of robbery in the Sonora capital, but it clarified that neither involved actual IMSS employees.
The most recent theft occurred on Friday when an 85-year-old woman was approached by an apparent medical professional while relaxing on her front porch. The man opened a dialogue with her, applied the sham sanitizer and made off with gold bracelets and other jewels she had owned since the 1950s.
In addition to her advanced age, the woman suffers from other underlying conditions and the theft affected her so gravely that it raised her blood pressure enough for her to need medical attention.
Sonora authorities warned that this could become a new trend in thefts during the coronavirus pandemic and asked anyone with information about such acts to report them to police by calling 911.
Source: El Sol de Hermosillos (sp)