An employee at a California mass vaccination site has been charged with grand theft for stealing 528 blank COVID-19 vaccine cards.
45-year-old Muhammad Rauf Ahmed from Las Vegas allegedly took the cards from the Pomona Fairplex site, according to police.
“On April 27, 2021 La Verne Police Detectives were notified about a possible theft/embezzlement of blank Covid-19 vaccine cards by an employee at the site,” La Verne Police stated.
“LVPD Detectives responded and determined that the suspect had stolen blank Covid-19 vaccine cards and put them in his car.”
Additional cards were found in the hotel where the non-clinical contracted employee was staying.
“While conducting follow-up, Detectives located more blank Covid-19 vaccine cards in the suspect’s hotel room. A total of 528 blank Covid-19 vaccine cards were recovered,” police said.
The motivation for the theft was not specified by authorities, which came about as fake vaccine cards have started being sold online illegally.
In April, the FBI warned that the production or possession of fake COVID-19 vaccine record cards is illegal, and could be punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to five years, or both.
“The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the FBI are advising the public to be aware of individuals selling fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and encouraging others to print fake cards at home,” an FBI notice reads. “Fake vaccination record cards have been advertised on social media websites, as well as e-commerce platforms and blogs.”