Mask mandate makes it tougher for businesses to detect armed robbers

LPD advises business employees to monitor suspicious behavior from masked customers.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – How has Lincoln’s mask mandate affected crime in the city?

According to the Lincoln Police Department, increased mask usage has had an impact.

“We have seen some increase in crimes where a mask is involved, obviously they blend in a lot more.” LPD’s Jared Minary said.

Minary is a forensic video technician with LPD. He acknowledges it can be a challenge for business employees to detect armed robbers when all customers are wearing masks.

“When [armed robbers] enter the stores, they blend in because they appear to be shoppers,” Minary said. “They come up with items to the register, so clerks aren’t aware as quickly in these cases.”

Business employees should be mindful that masked robbers are harder to detect and watch for any suspicious behavior from customers.

“As an employee in one of these stores, it’s obviously something you want to keep in mind in the back of your head and to watch behavior,” Minary said. “Sometimes prior to them entering the store if they are loitering around or if they are watching to see if customers are coming and going and finding opportune time to come in, that might be an indication that they are up to something.”

LPD advises that victims cooperate with masked intruders as much as possible during an armed robbery attempt in order to reduce the chance of someone getting hurt.

While increased mask usage has made it tougher for business employees to identify potential intruders, Minary says that police are still able to get good tips from the public based on what they can see on surveillance video.

If you would like to leave a tip, you can do so by calling the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-6000 or Lincoln Crime Stoppers at 402-475-3600. You can also visit to see images and video of cases under police investigation.

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