Looters ransack stores after Irma; police say some accounts overblown

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(RNN) A crew at a Fort Lauderdale TV station caught a group of looters in the act, sneaking into doors and windows broken by Hurricane Irma’s winds to ransack the store, Simon’s Sportswear.

After breaking into that store, the suspects reportedly entered a Cash America store and a pawn shop, adding to their haul.

The clip, posted on Facebook by Pembroke Pines station WPLG, has caused outrage expressed in a barrage of comments, many of them with strong racial overtones.

Footage led local law enforcement to post a message to potential looters on Twitter. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office sent a strong message to would-be looters, ensuring them they would be found and prosecuted.

Looting during the storm will not be tolerated. Looters will be identified, investigated, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. pic.twitter.com/EXBo16gv55

— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) September 10, 2017

Fort Lauderdale Police confirmed the arrests of the nine people involved in the looting.

#FLPD Looters ARRESTED! 9 individuals were arrested Looting CashAmerica Pawn & Simon’s on W Sunrise Blvd. pic.twitter.com/1pLR66I8TD

— Fort Lauderdale PD (@FLPD411) September 10, 2017

In Orlando, two people were arrested after they were caught robbing an Academy Sports store in the city’s Mall of Millennia just as Irma barreled toward central Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reported. One suspect surrendered immediately, but a SWAT team was called after the second would not surrender immediately.

In the aftermath of rampant looting rumors in Orlando, police took to social media to warn residents of inaccurate looting stories, including one that involved a police standoff. The looting incident was “peacefully resolved,” police said.

Burglary call at sporting goods store has been peacefully resolved. Two suspects in custody. No officers hurt: pic.twitter.com/nJppsK7MYq

— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) September 11, 2017

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