NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Queens District Attorney’s office has announced the arrests of 15 people for looting businesses in the Rockaways.
That number includes nine looters whose arrests were announced on Tuesday.
The suspects have all been charged with burglary and other crimes from looting and robbing a liquor store, clothing stores and a Radio Shack in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, according to the Queens DA.
“The Queens District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have zero tolerance for looters who would exploit a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy for their own personal gain,” said District Attorney Richard Brown in a release. “Having personally viewed yesterday the devastation that encompasses the Rockaway peninsula and other areas of Queens, I want to make it clear that such lawlessness will be vigorously prosecuted by my office and that we will seek appropriate punishment.”
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports
On Coney Island, New York One Beauty Supplies on Mermaid Avenue appeared to have had a car driven through the metal gates, allowing a thief in to make off with the cash register, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
“It made no sense,” the store owner told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.
Next door at the Citibank, what appear to be hammer holes were discovered around some of the ATM machines, Jones reported.
“It’s just water damage right now and probably with the holes against the wall, that looks like looting,” the Citibank branch manager told Jones.
Another shop owner drove up to assess the damage, only to find men with crowbars trying to help themselves to items inside.
“I called the police, I told the police ‘come see what’s going on here,’ and the police came,” the store owner told Jones.
Police are now out in force in Coney Island stationed at every corner, Jones reported.
The 15 suspects will be arraigned Wednesday at Queens County Criminal Court in Kew Gardens, according to the DA’s office.
Some of the charges carry up to seven years in prison, while others are misdemeanors, according to the DA.
In Nassau County, police there announced the arrests of four men on looting charges. The men apparently fled before taking anything from Expressions in Hempstead when the store’s alarm sounded, police said.
The men were pulled over in a traffic stop and during the investigation, a clear bag of marijuana along with screw drivers, a hammer and flashlight were discovered on the floor of the vehicle, according to Nassau police.
Two of the suspects were charged with burglary, the other two charged with possession of burglars tools, according to police.