Worker allegedly stole 528 blank COVID vaccine cards from vaccination site, police say
Each COVID-19 vaccine card is worth at least $ 15 when sold illegally, prosecutors noted
POMONA, Calif. (KTLA) – A Californian man was accused on Wednesday of allegedly stealing hundreds of blank COVID-19 vaccine cards from the Pomona Fairplex mass inoculation site where he worked.
Muhammad Rauf Ahmed, 45, has been charged with one count of robbery, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Ahmed, a non-clinician contractor from Las Vegas, is accused of stealing the cards on April 27 from the Pomona site.
“Detectives responded and determined that the suspect stole blank COVID-19 vaccine cards and put them in his car,” La Verne police said in a press release Tuesday announcing his arrest. “During the follow-up, detectives located more blank COVID-19 vaccine cards in the suspect’s hotel room. “
Ahmed would have taken 528 cards in total.
“The sale of fraudulent and stolen vaccination cards is illegal, immoral and puts the public at risk of exposure to a deadly virus,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a written statement.
When sold illegally, each COVID-19 vaccine card is worth at least $ 15, prosecutors noted.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta had warned residents last month not to print fake COVID-19 vaccination cards at home and not to buy fake ones.
“These counterfeit recordings undermine the health and safety of Californians and are also illegal,” Bonta said in a warning to consumers. “I advise you to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the authentic vaccination record that reflects that you have been vaccinated. Please do not buy fraudulent vaccination cards, create your own, or fill out blank vaccination cards with false information.
Vaccines and immunization cards are free, and anyone 12 years of age and over can now get the vaccine in California.
Ahmed’s arraignment is scheduled for August 25. The case remains under investigation by the La Verne police.