Florida cops arrested a group of looters in a devastated section of Fort Myers Thursday, according to a local reporter.
Reporter Gage Goulding of NBC 2 tweeted out a video of five young suspects seated in handcuffs in the stricken city’s beach area.
“Sheriff’s deputies told me Thursday afternoon these people were arrested for looting on Fort Myers Beach,” Goulding tweeted.
Local officials warned of the potential for looting after Hurricane Ian tore through the area and left countless buildings battered and exposed.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno issued a stiff warning to would-be thieves this week as the Category 4 storm made landfall in his jurisdiction.
“For any of those individuals that think they are going to go out there and loot or prey on people during this horrific event — you better think twice,” Marceno. “When I say zero tolerance, zero tolerance means we will hunt you down, track you down, and you’re going to jail. If you’re lucky.”
He added that the department had received a report of a local gas station being looted during the storm.
Fort Myers officials are still executing search and rescue missions in the aftermath of the storm, as emergency crews descended on the city of 85,000.
City officials issued an evacuation order the day before the storm touched down, but some residents stayed put.