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Coronavirus-related crimes capitalizes on global fear, panic

This photo from by the Tucson, Ariz., Police Department shows a COVID-19 testing kit of the type stolen from the El Rio Health Clinic in Tucson as they seek the public's help in identifying the person who stole them. And elsewhere, a Long Island man was arrested by after police say he tried to get into a hospital under restrictions to see his girlfriend. And federal authorities shut down a phony website selling vaccine kits for $4.95. As the coronavirus pandemic rises across the country, so are crimes related to it. (Tucson Police Department via AP)

TUCSON (AP) — The reported theft of 29 unused coronavirus test kits from a Tucson health center last week wasn’t really a robbery at all, police said Tuesday.

They said a man who allegedly disguised himself as a delivery driver before stealing the test kits actually was a legitimate delivery driver for a third-party transport company.

Police say a man entered the El Rio Health Center building about 8 p.m. Friday and took the tests as employees were closing for the night.

El Rio employees told police they never have pickups at that time of night and they didn’t recognize the person as one of their regular delivery drivers.

The health center provided surveillance video to police and said they wanted to prosecute the man.

Police said they identified the man and determined Monday that he’s a legitimate delivery driver for a company that subcontracts for Sonora Quest Laboratories.

They said a delivery slip retained by the transport company’s branch manager corroborated the man’s account and the unused test kits were accidentally removed from El Rio and transported to Sonora Quest following a pickup request.

El Rio employees said the kits were returned and police say their investigation is closed.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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