Looters ransack stores after Irma; police say some accounts overblown

Posted at 10:50 PM, Sep 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-10 22:50:00-04

(RNN) A crew at an Orlando TV station caught a group of looters in the act, sneaking into doors and windows broken by Hurricane Irma's winds to ransack the store, Simon's Sportswear.

After breaking into that store, the suspects reportedly entered a Cash America store and a pawn shop, adding to their haul. 

The clip, posted on Facebook by Pembroke Pines station WPLG, has caused outrage expressed in a barrage of comments, many of them with strong racial overtones.

Footage led local law enforcement to post a message to potential looters on Twitter. The Broward County Sheriff's Office sent a strong message to would-be looters, ensuring them they would be found and prosecuted. 

Fort Lauderdale Police confirmed the arrests of the nine people involved in the looting. 

In Orlando, two people were arrested after they were caught robbing an Academy Sports store in the city's Mall of Millennia just as Irma barreled toward central Florida, the Orlando Sentinelreported. One suspect surrendered immediately, but a SWAT team was called after the second would not surrender immediately.

In the aftermath of rampant looting rumors in Orlando, police took to social media to warn residents of inaccurate looting stories, including one that involved a police standoff. The looting incident was "peacefully resolved," police said. 

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