The man entered the El Rio Health Center in Tucson just before 8 p.m. as employees were getting ready to close, Tucson police said. He took 29 of the highly sought-after COVID-19 test kits and drove off in a reddish Dodge Charger or similar-style car.
Health center employees noticed the unused kits were missing the following morning, police said.
Surveillance images show the suspect, who police say is described as a Hispanic male in his 30s with a large build. He appears to have a full, dark-colored beard with some graying.
The kits are “essentially useless” to the suspect because they require a lab with the proper equipment to test and produce the results, police said.
While the clinic was able to replace the stolen items, police said the suspect’s actions contributed to the health crisis by taking test kits out of the hands of nurses and doctors.
Police warned that those who claim to have coronavirus test kits for sale are scammers, noting that there are no at-home kits currently available.
Coronavirus testing kits are in short supply in the U.S. as the virus continues to spread throughout the world. COVID-19 has so far sickened more than 26,000 people in the U.S., killing at least 340.