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Looting After Ian: Governor DeSantis, AG Moody, Lee County Sheriff, ‘You Loot-You Go To Jail’

Florida is not NY, and the aftermath of Ian is not NYC’s “Christmas In July" blackout

Gov. DeSantis in St. Augustine with headline: Looting after hurricane Ian not a good idea
Screenshot Florida Channel | Columbia County Observer graphic

SOUTH FLORIDA – With South Floridian's struggling to get back to their homes, get power, find lost loved ones, and put their lives back together after the devastation of IAN, this is not a good time to be a looter in Florida.

On the ground in Lee County, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno is not playing. If one gets caught looting, you are going to jail – period.

Lee Sheriff's Office deputy arresting looters
The Lee County Sheriff is not playing.     Photo: Sheriff's Office

"Sheriff Carmine Marceno means business and has taken a zero-tolerance stance on looting. We are patrolling, and you will be arrested if you partake in criminal activity," the sheriff's office states in its Facebook post.

On Friday, while Governor DeSantis was assessing the damage to Lee County’s barrier islands, residents were concerned that people would come by boat and steal their belongings.

While officials and the Governor said there was round-the-clock law enforcement on the islands, Attorney General Ashley Moody took it further.

According to WUSF, the AG said: "she wants looters to stay in jail and not be released on bond – maintaining law and order in the aftermath of the catastrophic damage is a top priority.”

WFSU continued, “She’s reached out to state attorneys with specific directives and requests to that end.”

“Moody said she’s worried about the perception home thefts or business looting during a state of emergency could have on the public in future emergencies… We are not going to look like Chicago or New York, where we're letting people out in 24 hours so they can go back and loot another home. That will not be tolerated here."

Near Fort Meyers In Matlacha on Friday, Gov. DeSantis commented on what he saw in Charlotte County’s Punta Gorda on Thursday.

“They boarded up all the businesses, and there are people that wrote on their plywood, ‘you loot, we shoot.' At the end of the day, we are not going to allow lawlessness to take advantage of this situation. We are a law-and-order state, and this is a law-and-order community, so do not think that you’re going to go take advantage of people who’ve suffered misfortune.”

Later, in St. Augustine, the Governor said, “I can tell you, in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home. I would not want to chance that if I were you, given that we’re a Second Amendment state.”

As of noon today, the Florida Public Service Commission is reporting 1,234,405 power outage reports.


The WUFS News article is here.

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