FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Nine suspects who allegedly looted a Fort Lauderdale shoe store as Hurricane Irma hit the state on Sunday are facing prison time over a few pairs of sneakers.
Police busted nine people who were filmed by local TV station WPLG as they ran into Simon’s Sportswear spot on West Sunrise Boulevard through an open window and made off with merchandise.
The suspects also allegedly hit the nearby CashAmerica pawn shop, according to the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Police Chief Rick Maglione stated via Twitter:
“Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice. Stay home and look after your loved ones and be thankful they are safe.”
The department also posted mugshots of two men charged in other hurricane-related crime, and referred to the fact that they had warned criminals about the potential for harsh penalties, tweeting:
“Can’t say we didn’t warn you…28 YOs Ryan Cook and Max Saintvil each face 6 counts of burglary from overnight #HurricaneIrma.”
The storm has wreaked havoc on Florida, with authorities estimate that power outages will affect over 50-percent of the state.
Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but it continues to pummel cities in northeastern Florida with winds up to 70 mph.
Main photo: Image of looters entering a Simon’s Sportswear in Fort Lauderdale [TheRickerd120 via WPLG / YouTube (screenshot)]