Hurricane Watch

Post-Irma Destruction Attracts Looters


A "you loot, we shoot" sign is depicted above.



A "you loot, we shoot" sign is depicted above.

Cote Snodgrass, Staff Writer

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Looting of homes in the Keys, a now serious and long-lasting problem due to Irma, has been occurring since the initial evacuation notice and has continued to be an unresolved issue.

According to Officer Larry O’Neill, there have been incidences of looting near Coral Shores. These include 12 car burglaries and three house burglaries, all in the same neighborhood near the laundromat.

Contrary to popular belief, the curfew that had been set in place was unrelated to looting. The curfew, 12 a.m. to 6 a.m., which has been lifted, was put into effect in an effort to help residents try and get back to leading normal lives.

Due to the mountains of trash on the side of the road, more looters have been drawn to the Keys, though it is not necessarily considered a crime to pick up roadside garbage.

“Picking through the trash on the side of the road is not considered a crime, however taking something from someone’s property is,” O’Neill said.

Though not considered a crime, the police have received many calls regarding the scenario portrayed above, but details are disclosed as of now.

After Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane that took place in 1992, looting was also a problem according to a Miami Herald article.

Despite the issue of looting in the Keys, police said it was worse for Miami citizens after Andrew. They had hoped the curfew set in place would deter looters and help emergency crews, but it continued to be a problem.

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Post-Irma Destruction Attracts Looters