WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - While thousands of people struggle to overcome the damage left behind by Hurricane Florence, citizens in Wilmington broke into the closed Family Dollar Saturday on Greenfield Street to steal anything they could find.
WECT reporter Chelsea Donovan arrived Friday to find dozens of people carrying items back to the public housing community Houston Moore.
"When we came over the hill on Greenfield Street, you could just see people everywhere," Chelsea Donovan said.
Donovan and another WECT employee walked to the front entrance and back exit of the store at the intersection of Greenfield and South 13th Streets, witnessing people wearing masks and carrying out various items, including paper goods.
What Donovan didn't see was law enforcement and there's a reason.
Wilmington police sent out a statement Saturday afternoon that they were told by management of the Family Dollar to stand down after receiving reports of looting at the store.
NEWS ALERT - We are aware of the looting occurring at the Family Dollar Store at 13th & Greenfield Sts, unfortunately management has asked not to intervene at this time.
— Wilmington Police (@WilmingtonPD) September 15, 2018
Due to the looting, Wilmington police said they will enact an extended curfew for the blocks between 13th, 14th, Greenfield, and Martin streets. The curfew will go into effect at 5 p.m. and will last until 6 a.m.
Earlier this week, District Attorney Ben David said he was working to clear room in the jail so looters could be charged with taking advantage during disastrous situations.
Brunswick County authorities arrested four people earlier this week on felony breaking and entering charges.
With the situation out of hand, Donovan and the photographer retreated to their vehicle.
"I was concerned the whole time. I won't lie, but I was there to get the story," Donovan said.
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