Prosecutor warns against using crisis to commit crimes

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Wade Vandervort

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson speaks to the media to discuss adding murder charges to two DUI cases at the Regional Justice Center, downtown, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019.

Wed, Mar 25, 2020 (4:18 p.m.)

Metro Police say they aren’t seeing any uptick in crime during the coronavirus outbreak, but the Clark County prosecutor today warned anyone against taking advantage of the crisis to commit fraud or other illegal acts.

“You don’t want to be breaking the law — more so now — just because of an opportunity,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said at a video news conference with Sheriff Joe Lombardo.

Lombardo said Metro has not seen any “significant changes” in regard to crime, and with Gov. Steve Sisolak ordering all casinos and nonessential businesses closed, calls for service have actually declined.

“Our cops are out on the street, dispatchers are still taking calls,” said Lombardo, adding that officers were providing “additional security” at food distribution centers and nonessential businesses ordered closed last week.

Officers have also handed out 41 warnings to businesses that failed to comply with the governor’s closure order, he said.

Wolfson said his office was working with a skeleton crew and that many people were working remotely. The office is still filing cases but is prioritizing violent crime, he said. The processing of less serious crimes has been delayed, he said.

“Let me assure you, Southern Nevada is safe,” Lombardo said. “It is a fact that in uncertain times our biggest enemy is fear, but Nevadans have proven in other tough times that we pulled together in periods of crisis.”

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