Police Warn That Looting In Florida During Hurricane Ian Will Worsen

In the wake of Hurricane Ian’s devastation, looting has broken out in several areas of Florida, despite the fact that rescue efforts are still underway with disaster teams on the ground.

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder, who is part of a 15-person Rapid Response team that has been aiding with recovery operations, told TCPalm, “It was really early and some of the looting was happening already, but I believe it will grow progressively worse, as people get more desperate.”

Police Warn That Looting In Florida During Hurricane Ian Will Worsen
Police Warn That Looting In Florida During Hurricane Ian Will Worsen

Snyder said that the county was completely without utilities. He met “dazed” survivors and “some really scary folks” out on the streets.

Someone said, “Generators meant to power traffic control systems were being stolen. They shackled and locked them down, and then they began taking gas from the generators.

According to Snyder, many are so worried that thieves would take their backup generators that they are storing them in unsecure locations. He added that a homeowner who used their generator in the garage caused the destruction of one house.

Trying to bring normality and infrastructure back to a town that has been ravaged is “a Herculean effort,” he said.

After Ian pushed throughout the state, opportunistic looters went on a rampage, causing significant damage to numerous counties.

For example, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said last week, “Right now, we have four instances of looting, and I’m glad to report they’re behind bars where they belong.” This was in reference to four persons who had been arrested the week before. Our community members are safe.

Omar Mejia Ortiz, 33, Valerie Celeste Salcedo Mena, 26, Brandon Mauricio Araya, 20, and Steve Eduardo Sanchez Araya, also 20, were all arrested on suspicion of burglary of an empty building under a state of emergency, and their mugshots were issued by the sheriff as well.

Marceno warned them seriously, stating, “I’m not playing,” and said that he believed three of the four were “here illegally in this country.” None of this is a game… It’s possible that you’ll enter the building. You’re going to be carried out.

After hearing accounts of individuals reportedly sailing boats to islands and ransacking houses, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has sent a similar warning to would-be pillagers.

You never know what may be lying behind someone’s house in Florida, and because we’re a Second Amendment state, DeSantis advised against taking any chances.

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