‘Lowest form of scum’: Looters posing as workers busted for robbing storm-damaged Fla homes

Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who oversees Lee County, one of the hardest hit areas in Florida, called those caught robbing people affected by Hurricane Ian “the lowest form of scum.”

“There will absolutely be law and order in Lee County, and those who think they will commit crime are gravely mistaken,” the sheriff said.

And on that note, five men have been arrested for stealing from a home in Fort Myers Beach, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

“The suspects allegedly had a ‘work’ van with a magnetic sign with branding for a fake company, deputies said. All five of the suspects are said to be from Orlando,” FOX35 Orlando reported.

Orange County deputies were in Lee County — Orlando is located in Orange County — assisting with recovery efforts when neighbors flagged down their deputies over the actions of a group of men that looked suspicious.

A photo of the looters was shared online, along with the caption: “Looters caught! While assisting @SheriffLeeFL, OCSO arrested 5 men (coincidentally, from Orlando) found looting a home in Ft. Myers Beach. Thanks to the residents who were looking out for their community, which has already been through so much!”

“People, their lives are washed away in minutes, hours or days with nothing and the little they have,” Sheriff Marceno said. “They’re trying to just make heads, heads or tails of it. I’m happy to say they’ve been caught and incarcerated. I’m very, very clear. I mean, zero tolerance on looting. We make certain our residents are safe.”

Last Saturday, six looters were arrested in Fort Myers for allegedly stealing high-end sneakers and other items from an outlet mall, Fox News reported.

According to Lee County’s Sheriff’s Office, Carlos Reyes Carmenates, 33, Mirna Abstengo Quesada, 33, Roberto Didier Enamorado Reyes, 30, Daymase Varona Reyes, 35, Alain Banzo Dieguez, 19, and a Hispanic teenager who is 14 years old were apprehended.

“There have been dozens of cases like this in the last two weeks in Lee County. Criminals are targeting homeowners and businesses that are trying to recover,” WOFL reported. “The sheriff said criminals are even posing as volunteer workers that are there to help with clean-up, only to then help themselves to people’s property. So far, there have been 28 cases of looting.

Three of those arrested were illegal immigrants, and this drew the ire of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“These are people that are foreigners, they’re illegally in our country, but not only that, they try to loot and ransack in the aftermath of a natural disaster,” DeSantis told reporters. “They should be prosecuted, but they need to be sent back to their home country. They should not be here at all.”

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