A hurricane is a very unfortunate event. When looting happens during a natural disaster, it becomes an insult to the residents who have been sheltering in place in order to stay safe. Looters make a bad situation worse. The looting has forced officials to enact curfews.
Lee County, which includes cities such as Fort Myers and Cape Coral, saw devastating impacts from the now tropical storm forecast to make a third landfall in the Southeast later this week.
About two hours after landfall, Fort Myers reached 5.8 feet storm surge breaking the previous record set by Hurricane Gabrielle in 2001 at 3.36 feet. Wind gusts of more than 100 mph were reported ahead of landfall in Cape Coral.
Amid the chaos of Hurricane Ian, looting and other crimes have been committed in Lee County.
In coordination with Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, County Commission, city managers and city councils, Dejarlais announced a 6 p.m. curfew for Lee County, which will be in place until further notice.
“To be sure, and I feel safe relaying this in on behalf of law enforcement, there’s going to be a zero-tolerance policy for looting and violence in this town,” Dejarlais said.
A zero-tolerance policy is a clear message to looters- do not loot! Rescue efforts are focusing on saving lives and home/business structures. First responders must be able to focus on that and not on criminal activity.