Florida Police Warn Against Looting (Photo)

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Florida police have arrested a number of people on charges of looting during the chaos of Hurricane Irma.

Nine people were arrested for looting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after cameras showed them stealing sneakers and other goods from stores during the hurricane, reports WPVI.

The group was recorded going into a sporting goods store and a pawn shop by a news crew, and was then seen leaving the store with what looked like boxes of shoes.

"Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice," said Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Manglione, KTRK reports. "Stay home and look after your loved ones and be thankful they are all safe."

Police in Miami shared a photo of alleged looters on Facebook. The image was captioned, "Thinking about looting? Ask these guys how that turned out. #stayindoors."

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In Broward County, two teenagers were caught breaking into a home while the homeowners were gone, according to ABC News. The homeowners found out about the break-in via their home surveillance system.

The two 17-year-olds were arrested for the alleged attempted burglary. A deputy shot one of the teens outside of the home, and the teen was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Days earlier, 29-year-old Nicholas Rossell was charged with theft and burglary after he allegedly tried to steal a purse from a car as the bag's owner was "preparing for Hurricane Irma" and grocery shopping.

"If you looted and we find out who you are, you will go to jail," Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a press conference.

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On Sept. 10, Fort Lauderdale police arrested 19 people on charges related to looting.

"We have made numerous arrests for looting," read a tweet from the Miami-Dade Police Department. "We're on patrol and won't tolerate criminal activity as out community recovers from #HurricaneIrma!"

Police in Palm Beach County said at least six people had unsuccessfully tried to steal from businesses in the county during the storm, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The alleged looters included two men in the West Palm Beach area who tried to rob a gun store, and a group that allegedly attempted to rob a gas station in West Palm Beach.

Elsewhere, on St. Martin, one of the Caribbean Islands that was hit by Irma, residents and business owners complained that the storm had led to looting in their community, according to Fox News.

"We can't sleep in peace because of the thieves," said 48-year-old Yovanny Roque.

Locals on the island have said that they are living in fear of armed robbers, hiding indoors at night to avoid them.

American Adam Lynch, who was rescued from St. Martin, attested to the fear on the island.

"We heard of people coming into different hotels posing as tourists and stealing everything," said Lynch.

Sources: ABC News, Palm Beach Post, WPVI, KTRK, Fox News / Featured Image: Keith Allison/Flickr / Embedded Images: Miami Police Department/Facebook, Karsun Designs/Flickr

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