Over the weekend, 28 arrests were made in the same town overnight. As more information surrounding the ordeal has come to light, it appears that all of the suspects had one disgusting thing in common.
As Hurricane Irma battered Florida on Sunday, law enforcement officials promised to police the streets to prevent looting. However, with unsafe winds pummeling the region, police were forced to be discretionary about their whereabouts in order to ensure the safety of officers. That didn’t mean looters walked away scot-free, though.
Overnight, law enforcement in Florida was able to apprehend 32 looters, 28 in Miami alone, arresting them soon after they broke into stores which had closed up for the hurricane.
At least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot empty businesses and homes that have been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma — 28 alone in Miami, according to local authorities. [Source: Daily Mail]
The looters have been using a disturbing new tactic in their illegal pursuits, as well. Some have been posing as utility workers in order to gain access to the homes of unsuspecting property owners in South Florida, where utilities have been compromised due to the tropical storm.
Many houses have lost power in the hurricane, and as you can imagine, it would not seem out of the ordinary for a worker from the power company to come to your house during an outage.
According to FOX 11, a local utility company near Orlando is reporting that a number of residents have made disturbing complaints that people posing as utility workers are robbing homeowners at gun point.
In addition to this, the looters have employed their usual tactics, breaking into shoe stores to score the latest pair of Nikes, as Mad World News previously reported.
Despite dangerous winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Irma, several looting incidents have been reported in Fort Lauderdale.
Local 10 cameras caught a group breaking into the Simon’s Sportswear on Sunrise Blvd. and Powerline Road.
The group of about 8-9 people broke through the front window and were seen walking in and then walking out with stolen items.
A group then began looting a Footlocker in the same area. It’s not known whether the groups were the same. [Source: Local 10]
Law enforcement presented a strong, united front against looters in Florida after seeing the damage they had caused in Texas during Hurricane Harvey. “Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice,” Fort Lauderdale police Chief Rick Maglione said. “Stay home and look after your loved ones and be thankful they are all safe.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office echoed the same sentiment, saying via Twitter, “ATTENTION LOOTERS; Every incident will be investigated. Evidence collected will be used to pursue charges after the fact.” The Pembroke Pines Police Department also issued a stern warning: “Any looters who come to Pembroke Pines will be greeted by our officers. Choose wisely and stay home.”
ATTENTION LOOTERS; Every incident will be investigated. Evidence collected will be used to pursue charges after the fact. #HurrcaneIrma
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) September 10, 2017
Any looters who come to Pembroke Pines will be greeted by our officers. Choose wisely and stay home. https://t.co/9ETgZKgYla
— Pembroke Pines PD (@PPinesPD) September 10, 2017
You’ve got to be the lowliest of scum to loot during a natural disaster. It’s good to hear that 32 of these thugs have been apprehended. Let’s hope they are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Those who take advantage of crisis situations like a hurricane should not be shown any leniency.