Hurricane Sandy brought on a flood of crime to New York City and other hard-hit areas.
Since Sandy made landfall last week, affected areas in New York and New Jersey, among other places, have been plagued with burglaries, street muggings, fights, and other crimes, reports the New York Post.
Things have gotten so bad that police on Manhattan's Lower East Side are warning residents not to use the flashlight apps on their smartphones -- for fear that the light will attract thieves and other low-lifes.
The sad reality is that natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy provide a prime opportunity for thieves and opportunists. When a disaster strikes, residents will typically stock up on supplies, hit the gas lines, and take out emergency cash, writes the Post.
As a result, criminals have been lurking around ATM machines and robbing people taking out emergency money. Burglars are also waiting outside homes, knowing that cash and a well-supplied home is probably waiting. People are even pulling guns on each other in gas lines, CBS News reports.
Police expect the number of reported crimes to spike when more residents return to their homes and discover things have been stolen.
Along with individual victims, businesses have also been targeted by looters. While the looting of supplies like water and food may make some sense during a natural disaster, some of the reports of looting are just plain ridiculous. In one case, twin brothers allegedly stole a U-Haul truck and rammed it into a motorcycle dealership, with the apparent intent of loading up the truck with stolen motorcycles, reports the Post.
As residents slowly trickle back to areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy, they may find themselves needing to file a police report. Along with the obvious thefts of cash, jewelry, and electronics, residents should also be aware of identity theft. If a laptop or iPad was stolen, personal information may have also be at risk.
- Hurricane Sandy Looting, Fights Plague South Brooklyn (The Huffington Post)
- Is it Ever Legal to Loot? (FindLaw's Blotter)
- 4 Officers Charged in Post-Katrina Shootings (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Apple Crime in NYC Spikes 40 Percent (FindLaw's Blotter)