Police across Florida have already arrested at least 37 people for looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which swept over the state Sunday.
The 37 arrests included nine men in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday who broke into a sporting goods store as well as two men who engaged in a stand off with SWAT officers after they broke into a gun store, the Daily Mail reported. The Miami-Dade Police Department alone claims to have made 28 arrests since Sunday.
One of the gun looters turned himself in when SWAT arrived, but the second barricaded himself inside the store, only for law enforcement to subdue him with gas canisters soon after.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione told reporters that choosing to steal in the wake of the storm is “a fairly bad life choice,” and several Florida police departments warned looters on Twitter that police are out in full force.
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
But the police presences is just causing some of the thieves to get more creative. A utility company in Marion County issued a warning to its customers Sunday to watch out for looters posing as utility workers, according to FOX 11. Several customers of Sumter Electric Cooperative had called in to report that they let utility workers into their homes only to be robbed at gunpoint.
Police have also arrested several people for violating the curfew that has been instituted across the state.
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