LOOT­ERS THE NEXT THREAT IN PAN­HAN­DLE

Calgary Herald - - WORLD -

Armed loot­ers are tar­get­ing homes and busi­nesses that re­main with­out elec­tric­ity after be­ing rav­aged by Hur­ri­cane Michael a week ago.

Sher­iff ’s Maj. Jimmy Stan­ford said deputies have ar­rested about 10 loot­ers each night since Florida’s Bay County took a di­rect hit from the strong Cat­e­gory 4 storm last Wed­nes­day.

Call­away res­i­dent Vic­to­ria Smith told the News Her­ald that thieves came into her town­home while she and her four chil­dren were sleep­ing with the front door open to al­low a breeze in­side.

“They just snatched my purse out of my hands and ran . ... It was all we had.”

Of­ten the loot­ers have been armed, Stan­ford said.

Mean­while in Mex­ico Beach, so-called ground zero of the hur­ri­cane, res­i­dents be­gan re­turn­ing home for the first time.

State emer­gency man­age­ment of­fi­cials said some 124,500 cus­tomers across the Pan­han­dle were still with­out power Wed­nes­day morn­ing and 1,157 re­mained in shel­ters.

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