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Police & Fire

Police Seek 'COVID Hugger' Accomplice In Bizarre Walmart Incident

The suspected "COVID Hugger" (left) and an accomplice (right) are pictured here in a photo taken from surveillance camera video. Police are seeking the public's help in identifying the suspects. Photo Credit: Springfield PD
The suspected "COVID Hugger's" vehicle is pictured here in a photo taken from surveillance camera video. Photo Credit: Springfield PD
The suspected "COVID Hugger" is pictured here in a photo taken from surveillance camera video. Photo Credit: Springfield PD

Springfield Police have released new photos of the “COVID Hugger” as officers ask for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.

After hearing from more victims, police have added another suspect to the investigation. Police are also seeking to identify a woman who was with the “hugger.” allegedly recording his interactions with people.

The case of the COVID Hugger was first reported to the police on the evening of Aug. 15. Officers were called to the Walmart on Boston Road in Springfield where a victim told them a man took an item out of his hand and then gave him a hug.

The suspect then allegedly said, “Just giving you a COVID hug. You now have COVID.” The suspect then laughed and walked away, police said.

The victim, who was not named, does not know the suspect.

The suspect allegedly gave out similar "hugs" to other customers, police said.

In addition to the photos of the suspects taken from surveillance video, police have also released a photo of the car the suspects were driving.

Anyone with information that could help identify the suspect is asked to call the Springfield Police at (413) 787-6355 or send the department a private message on Facebook. 

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