LOOTERS THE NEXT THREAT IN PANHANDLE
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.