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A new challenge; Thieves hiding behind masks

Posted at 7:34 PM, May 27, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — You don’t have to go very far to see many people doing their part to help limit the spread of COVID-19, by wearing masks when visiting public places.

But while most are doing so with the right intentions, those with bad intentions can lean on the cover a mask will provide. It happened earlier this month during an armed robbery at Advance Auto Parts on New Circle Road in Lexington.

“They told (the employee) to empty the register, which he did, they restrained him so he couldn’t call the police and they took off. They took his keys and stole his car and drove off in his vehicle,” said Detective Anthony Delimpo, who is now heading the Crime Stoppers unit for the Lexington Division of Police.

The victim’s car was later found, and a third person of interest emerged on surveillance images from a nearby Thornton’s gas station. That man is accused of driving the getaway car. He also wasn’t wearing a mask, unlike the two men who committed the robbery. Due to COVID-19, Lexington relaxed a law that didn’t allow adults to wear a mask in public.

Now that they can, it could add a layer of difficulty when attempting to solve these crimes.

“Somebody might try to blend in by wearing that protective mask,” Delimpo said.