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Florida Police Kept Busy By Looters, Burglars And Scammers Taking Advantage Of Irma

Multiple news crews that were hoping to cover the arrival of Hurricane Irma along the southeastern Florida coast this weekend instead wound up capturing video footage of looters breaking into various retail outlets and running off with merchandise.

In one video recorded by reporters from local affiliate WSVN-TV, a group of looters could be seen popping in and out of the side entrance to a Miami Footlocker with boxes of sneakers that they then tossed into their getaway vehicles.

At least one group of looters in Miami was later spotted in a photo released Sunday by the Miami Police Department showing ten people sitting in a jail cell.

Reporters from local station WPLG captured something similar Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, where they watched as looters ransacked a sportswear store called Simon’s.

Later, the same perpetrators allegedly looted nearby Footlocker and Cash America Pawn stores as well, but were eventually arrested by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and put in jail on suspicion of burglary during a natural disaster.

“Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice,” Fort Lauderdale police Chief Rick Maglione said in a statement. “Stay home and look after your loved ones and be thankful they are all safe.”

An electric company in Orlando also warned of people posing as utility workers in order to rob locals.

“They are saying that they have reports of people posing as utility workers, knocking on doors and robbing people at gunpoint here in Marion County,” WOFL reporter Danielle Lama said in a Sunday broadcast. “They are warning people to be very careful if they open their doors.”

Likewise, a report emerged from Broward County of a teen being shot and another arrested as they tried to burglarize a home while Irma pummeled the shore early Sunday morning.

“At least one deputy opened fire on the 17-year-old suspect outside the home,” local station WTVJ reported. “He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, while his accomplice was taken into custody without incident, officials said.”

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source: Western Journalism

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