COLLEEN LONG, MICHAEL BALSAMO and RODNEY MUHUMUZA
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thieves steal surgical masks and COVID-19 test kits. Hate groups encourage sick members to infect law enforcement officers. Imposters pose as public health officials. Con artists peddle fake cures and financial scams.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, so too do the crimes related to it — transgressions that capitalize on fear, panic and the urge to lay blame, and add to the burden on law enforcement agencies trying to protect vulnerable citizens.
"It is really disheartening in a time like this that someone would take advantage of the community and take them in a time of need," Tucson, Arizona, Police Sgt. Pete Dugan said.
Everyday life has essentially stopped in many countries in a bid to slow