Hurricane Irma: Looters caught on camera as storm continues to hit Florida https://t.co/bYjljM3EPz pic.twitter.com/pjXeIVAIHX— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 11, 2017
Hurricane Irma rolled through Miami Sunday morning, leaving behind flood waters, destroyed power lines and destruction to buildings. Still, some people braved the severe conditions to steal high-priced goods from local stores.
A video shared by BBC News shows looters running out of stores with arms or totes full of designer shoes, loading them into parked cars outside. Another clip shows a man wheeling multiple televisions down the street.
Though many businesses were hit with extensive damage from Irma’s winds and water, others were destroyed by looters who smashed storefront windows and stole expensive inventory.
In the video, police arrive as some cars sit in the parking lot of a shoe store. Authorities say they’ve made multiple arrests across Florida concerning stolen goods.
The Miami Police Department has also taken to social media to deter others from looting in the city. The account has spotlighted the arrests and has made clear to followers the strong police presence throughout Miami.
Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out. #stayindoors pic.twitter.com/7m42B0KFr4— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) September 11, 2017
After Hurricane Harvey struck south Texas in August, one ABC reporter brought residents' looting to light on Twitter. Rather than being viewed as a hero, though, followers slammed him for reporting the activity his team saw at a local supermarket.
“We informed police of the looting and Coast Guard is flying overhead. Multiple officers now on the scene," Tom Llamas wrote in a now-deleted Tweet.
Looting a supermarket in a flood is also known as getting food.— John Burns (@johnburnsnc) August 29, 2017
After receiving backlash, he attempted to clarify the statement, writing, "Let me clear this up — we were w/police who had discovered a dead body & mentioned we saw ppl w/faces covered going into a supermarket nearby."
Others pointed out that Llamas' actions not only called out those attempting to survive the storm, he may have diverted the attention of authorities away from those who were in need.
"Not all heroes wear capes. Some divert rescue helicopters to possibly shoot people who need food and blankets," one user replied to Llamas.
As for the police presence in Miami and surrounding Florida cities, authorities have resumed patrolling streets to ensure the safety of residents and businesses, and to assess damages so cleanup can begin.