robbers loot jewellery store
The CCTV footage shared on Twitter shows the robbers calmly sanitise their hands, before proceeding to take their guns out Image Credit: Twitter/@alok_pandey

Who said criminals and thieves are not scared of COVID-19? Today, three robbers made sure they wore their face masks, and sanitised their hands, before pulling out their guns to rob a jewellery store in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Indian journalist, Alok Pandey shared the CCTV footage of the incident on Twitter, leaving netizens in splits, while also being concerned about the state of law and order in UP.

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@alok_pandey tweeted: "In Aligarh, [three] men rob a jewellery shop following full ‘COVID-19 protocol’ - walk in wearing masks, get hands sanitised and then whip out a gun and rob the establishment!"

The robbery took place in Aligarh, at around 2pm on Friday. According to an Indian news website: "The store workers probably assumed the men were customers, and offered them sanitiser."

After calmly sanitising their hands, the robbers pulled out country-made guns, and pointed them at the store workers. They proceeded to stuff their bags with jewellery.

The news report added that they allegedly took items worth Rs40 lakh (Dh200,107).

During the robbery that lasted less than a minute, three customers who were already in the store sat still. Meanwhile, one of the store keepers who stood up just before the incident, was seen rushing into a room and shutting the door, as soon as he saw the guns.

The CCTV footage shows that one of the thieves  jumped over the counter, and took out wads of cash as well as jewellery, while one of the store workers sat with folded hands.

Reportedly, police said they took Rs30,000 (Dh1,500) to 40,000 (Dh2,000) in cash.

According to a news report and the viral tweet, Aligarh police have said swift action will be taken in the case.

"With the help of the CCTV footage, we will soon solve the case and arrest the accused," a police official told reporters.

The police later tweeted that two of the accused had already been identified.

While many sympathised with the store owner, others couldn't help but laugh at the entire episode.

Sharing a light-hearted comment, tweep @niths_v posted: "Mask-up-and-sanitise culture among our people makes me proud... Together we can fight COVID-19!"

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"Irony is that they sanitised in fear of the virus, but they do not fear the police," tweeted @_sharma_akash.

And, reiterating the importance of wearing masks, @Makol555 tweeted: “Moral of the story: Whatever the urgency, wear your masks properly and sanitise your hands well.”