Four suspects were arrested and accused of looting after Hurricane Ian wrecked Floridians’ homes and communities.
Update: According to Fox News, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said Tuesday that three of the four suspects are illegal aliens.
“Omar Mejia Ortiz, 33, and Valerie Celeste Salcedo Mena, 26, were arrested, along with 20-year-olds Brandon Mauricio Araya and Steve Eduardo Sanchez Araya. Lee County sheriff’s deputies arrested all four on charges of burglary of an unoccupied structure during a state of emergency, according to online jail records,” Fox News reported Tuesday.
— New York Post (@nypost) October 4, 2022
Ortiz faces charges of petit larceny and the others face charges of grand larceny. The outlet noted the group was released once they posted bond.
Officials in the state’s Lee County announced a curfew Wednesday once they got reports of looting and additional criminal activity in the wake of the hurricane, Breitbart News reported.
Catastrophic: Aerial Footage Reveals Extent of Ian’s Damage pic.twitter.com/qYPG8YlyF5
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 30, 2022
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno addressed the problem at a news conference, stating:
I know we had a report of one incident where someone tried to loot into a gas station. I don’t know the details but it’s infuriating and we’re not gonna allow it. We are a great law and order state. We need to access the people that need to be helped, their life and safety is most important. But my message is very clear to those who think they’re gonna loot. Go somewhere else, leave the state, don’t do that in here, not in Lee County.
Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday had a warning for potential looters thinking about targeting residents’ homes, declaring, “We’re a Second Amendment state.”
He said, “I can tell you in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home. And I would not want to chance that if I were you — given that we’re a Second Amendment state.”
Florida is a law and order state.
Looting and lawlessness will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/8Ma9RuSlPq
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 1, 2022
DeSantis continued by noting, “We are a law and order state, and this is a law and order community. So do not think that you’re going to take advantage of people who’ve suffered misery.”