Looters Try To Steal Guns In Florida During Hurricane (Photos)

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At least 32 people have been arrested in Florida for attempting to loot from empty businesses and homes during Hurricane Irma.

One incident occurred at an Orlando Mall, WESH reported. Police were called to the scene after witnesses reported a burglary in the area.

SWAT team officers arrived after it became clear looters were trying to steal guns. One person surrendered while another barricaded himself in the store. SWAT officers used gas to subdue at least one suspect.

Orlando Police released a statement saying that officers took two suspects into custody and that the incident was "peacefully resolved."

A local utilities company has also reported that a number of residents have filed complaints about people posing as utility workers and robbing homeowners at gunpoint, WOFL reported.

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Another two groups of looters were caught on camera stealing from a sporting goods store. One suspect was shot, and at least 12 others were arrested, according to local media reports.

A teenager was shot by a Broward County sheriff's deputy in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Weston on Sept. 9 after trying to break into a home. Another teen was also arrested in that incident.

Law enforcement officials arrived at the home after the owners, who were out of town at the time, saw the burglars on their surveillance system. The teenager who was shot, aged 17, was rushed to a hospital and suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Another eight people were filmed by a television camera breaking into a Fort Lauderdale shoe store and stealing items. Another group of men and women were seen breaking into a sportswear store, while another group reportedly vandalized a Foot Locker 25 miles north of Miami.

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It is not clear whether the same suspects were involved in the different looting incidents.

Meanwhile, in Miami, at least a dozen people were spotted looting another sporting goods store on Sept. 10. They were seen walking out of the store with boxes of shoes and other supplies.

Officers arrived about an hour after the looting started. They took at least two people into custody, WTVJ reported.

One St. Petersburg family who left their home in anticipation of the hurricane returned to find that their house was looted, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

"Every drawer and closet was dumped out," Maddy Lee, 19, told the Times. "They took two TVs, $50 cash, and ate some coconut cake that was in the fridge."

Lee said her parents took all their computers and important documents.

"Of course it's all replaceable," she added. "It just feels like such a violation when we're leaving home, trying to be safe and someone comes and steals our stuff! Other people need to be aware there's looters out there."

The Miami Police Department took to Twitter to share a photo of ten men who were arrested for looting.

"Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out,'" the police department tweeted.

Sources: WESHWOFL via KTTV, WTVJ, Tampa Bay Times / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: WPLGLocal10 and Miami PD via Daily Mail

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