As Hurricane Idalia wreaked havoc on Florida’s Gulf Coast, criminals saw an opportunity to capitalize on the vulnerable state of residents and engaged in looting and burglary. Despite a warning from Governor Ron DeSantis that looters will not be tolerated, two individuals from Palmetto, Florida, were arrested for looting a home damaged by the hurricane. The incident has sparked concerns among residents that more burglars will take advantage of the weakened state of law enforcement in the remote, wooded area.
However, the Governor has made it clear that such criminal activity will not be allowed. He urged all law enforcement personnel to protect people’s property and to take strong action against looters. He has also reminded potential criminals that “you never know what you’re walking into.” Florida is a Second Amendment state, and residents have the right to defend their property. Signs like “You loot, we shoot” have been spotted in various places after disasters like Hurricane Idalia, and the Governor has emphasized that such signs are not to be taken lightly.
DESANTIS WARNS LOOTERS AFTER #IDALIA: "We are not gonna tolerate any looting in the aftermath."
"You never know what you're walking into […] This part of Florida – you got a lot of advocates and proponents of the 2nd Amendment […] 'You loot, we shoot.'" pic.twitter.com/beEzGum7Ba
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) August 30, 2023
The two individuals who were caught looting a waterfront home in Horseshoe Beach have been charged with multiple offenses, including burglary of an unoccupied dwelling during an emergency, grand theft, and trespassing. Their bail has been set at over $1 million each, which sends a clear message to potential looters that their criminal activity will not be tolerated.
It is ridiculous that anyone would consider looting just hours after a natural disaster with 125 mph winds and a torrential storm surge. Governor DeSantis has strongly advised people not to take advantage of this vulnerable situation and has warned that they will face severe consequences if they do. He has also expressed his commitment to taking strong action against criminal activity and ensuring the safety and security of Florida’s residents.
As residents in the Big Bend region remain concerned about the potential for more looting and burglary, Governor DeSantis has assured them that law enforcement is taking strong action against criminal activity. There is no place for such behavior in Florida, and those who engage in it will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. The Governor has made it clear that he will not tolerate any criminal activity, and his commitment to protecting the property and safety of Florida’s residents is unwavering.