15 December 2020

Gimme the money, or I’ll sneeze

The Back Page

There’s nothing quite like a pandemic to bring out the worst in folks.

Back in the mists of time, your correspondent recalls the fear of HIV/AIDS becoming a handy bargaining tool for innpovative felons. Just load up a syringe, claim to be HIV-positive and demand the cash gets handed over.

Plus ça change, as the French would say.

According to a recent report in The Independent, a would-be bank robber in the US state of Georgia passed a note to staff stating he was infected with SARS-CoV-2 and he was prepared to share the disease with anyone and everyone if they didn’t, ahem, cough up.

Certainly cheaper than shelling out for a Glock G19 or a Smith & Wesson, you’d have to admit, but the ruse was unsuccessful. The bank’s employees refused to comply, they contacted the local police quick smart, and the COVID crim was forced to depart the premises empty-handed.

The 51-year-old perpetrator, identified as Victor Hardley Crawley, was subsequently tracked down and arrested in his home without incident.

He told police he had “fallen on financial hardship” and just needed about $2,000 “to catch up his on bills”.

Given the parlous state of the US wrought by COVID-19, with infections and deaths surging at unprecedented rates, and given the accompanying spikes in unemployment, poverty and misery, the only surprise is that no one had tried this sooner.

If you see something stupid, say something stupid … send cash in unmarked notes to felicity@medicalrepublic.com.au.

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