Gangs of organized shoplifters cause alarm by ignoring COVID guidelines

Giving is generous.  Unless you’re giving germs.  Then stealing is better.

Residents of California have expressed serious concerns regarding the out-of-control looters who are not following public health codes designed to fight COVID while raiding local department stores.

Scores of coordinated pilferers are running amok in urban centers throughout the Golden State, terrorizing innocent passersby with their flagrant disregard for CDC-issued guidelines.  The robberies have become so harrowing that many of the thieves’ victims have taken to social media to share their disapproval.

“Smash and grab’s just part of big city livin, totally get it. But mask up for chrissakes!” posted BigFreak354.  BigFreak887 added, “I’m used to seeing this kind of thing with all the gang activity here, but we’re in a pandemic, and it’s indoors. So selfish not to distance or cover their faces. #DoBetter.”

Local officials in some of the hardest-hit municipalities have gone on record condemning the malefactors’ actions.  “These crim— Can we call them… we can?… fine.  These criminals are a menace to the community,” proclaimed Mayor Garcetti of Long Falls.  “Either they begin to observe the life-saving rules we have in place or we’ll be forced to consider prosecuting them for their actions.  For the stealing, I mean.  Not the COVID stuff.”

Referring to the dearth of prosecutions for misdemeanor theft offenses throughout much of the state, Garcetti opined that the systematic plundering of consumer goods ought to carry some penalty.  He continued, “And can you believe they’re not even wearing masks?  I know, for me, if I were commanding five or so dozen brigands to pillage Nordstrom’s and Banana Republic, we’d be wearing masks.  It’s just irresponsible not to.”

California’s recent retail crime spree has led to the emergence of several vigilante groups whose mission is to report marauders who fail to observe recommended best practices in the ongoing battle to curb viral transmission.  Armed with pro-mask signage and proximity whistles, the all-volunteer corps patrol malls and indoor markets statewide.  Since banding together, the groups have prevented zero robberies and an incalculable number of COVID cases.

“That’s what we’re here for,” said Cliff Brown, founder of the Knights of the Social Distance Circle.  “It’s about saving lives, and I know we’re saving lots of ‘em.  Now, if we could just get the bandits to carpool, preferably in a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, or, better yet, if they would choose bicycles to do their heists, we’d be golden.”