Earlier this week, four men were arrested for allegedly breaking into a woman’s home and holding her against her will for hours in an attempt to steal her stimulus check. That story would be terrifying under normal circumstances, but during a pandemic, the reasons to be scared in that rapidly multiply.
People are going to steal from other people, but the odd thing about this situation is the specificity of the men’s request. According to this woman, the men were somehow aware that she had received her stimulus check and had come to rob her because of that knowledge. In fact, she actually knew all four of the men who broke into her home. Some landlords have illegally used the IRS ‘Get My Payment’ tool to check whether their tenants have received their stimulus check, so it is definitely possible that these men had confirmation that the woman they were planning to burgle had received the $1,200 they wanted from her.
Although we don’t know the circumstances of these particular men, or why they attempted to steal this woman’s stimulus check, it’s no secret that millions of people across the country are currently unemployed, struggling to afford food, and facing new depths of financial desperation. It seems very possible that that desperation could have factored into the decision to attempt to rob this woman of a $1,200 check.
It’s a sobering reminder of the dire financial straits millions of people across the country have found themselves in over recent months. For some, their financial struggles are primarily a result of the covid-19 pandemic, but for many marginalized folks, this crisis has only exacerbated existing inequities and discrimination.