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Desperate times call for desperate measures.
And according to one sheriff’s department in Kentucky, the quickly spreading coronavirus pandemic means it’s time for all residents to stop committing crimes.
“Due to the coronavirus, the Sheriff’s department is asking that all criminal activities stop until further notice,” the Powell County Sheriff’s Office said in a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post on March 12. “Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in the matter. We will update you when we deem it’s appropriate to proceed with yo bad selves.”
Commenters joined in the fun.
“Please keep me posted, I was literally putting my shoes on to go commit petty theft and buy some dope,” Powell County resident Nick Tackett wrote. “Ugh. So inconvenient.”
The humorous post comes amid a time of heightened anxiety around the country, with public officials scrambling to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Though there have been no confirmed cases in Powell County, Kentucky has diagnosed 25 cases so far, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader, a Kentucky newspaper.
On March 16, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the state’s first coronavirus-related death, according to the paper.
“Right now, people don’t know what’s going on,” Powell County Deputy Eddie Barnes told PEOPLE Magazine. “We’re taking this very seriously, but we thought a little bit of humor would help too.”
There was some controversy in the post’s comments section, however, as some residents noted the statement was identical to an earlier post by the Struthers County, Ohio police department.
The Powell County office admitted in a comment that they were “not sure who started it,” and they’ve seen the post in “at least a dozen counties” in Kentucky, South Carolina and Texas.
Some Powell County residents are unsatisfied with this answer.
“Hmm, that means that ALL Police Departments are thieves!” resident Jon Hearld commented. “GOSH, there’s NOT gonna be enough cells to contain ALL of you all!!”
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