KENNEWICK, Wash. - A pair of thieves disguised as nurses stole packages off porches in a Washington state community amid the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said Saturday.
Kennewick police shared the photos of two women decked out in dark blue scrubs and approaching homes in the city, located in southeastern Washington along the Columbia River.
One woman wore surgical gloves. The porch pirates shared a maroon sedan, according to security camera footage released by police.
While the suspects looked the part of health care workers, police said they “do not believe they are actual nurses” and asked the public for help in identifying the thieves.
“The nurses we are fortunate to know only give their time, lives, and take the vitals of their patients (not their property),” police wrote on Facebook.
As Americans adapt to new health guidelines during the pandemic, some are leaving delivered packages outside for an extended time out of an abundance of caution.
It is unlikely that the virus can be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the agency said it may be possible for the infection to spread by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your own face.
After accepting deliveries or collecting mail, the CDC advised Americans to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
The coronavirus has killed 830 of the 15,003 Washingtonians the virus sickened as of Friday, according to state health department data.
Gov. Jay Inslee last week extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 31 and unveiled a four-phase plan to reopen the state.
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