Authorities in Florida warned residents that "going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice" following a series of burglary arrests as Hurricane Irma was slamming the state with heavy rains and winds.
The Miami-Dade Police Department said on Twitter that there were 28 arrests for looting.
Deputy Police Chief Luis Cabrera told the Miami Herald Sunday that some of the arrests were made while winds in Midtown Miami were at their strongest.
“Our units are being dispersed throughout the city with high visibility,” he said.
Miami police issued a curfew on Saturday night, the report said. That allows police officers to stop anyone for just being out on the street.
Daniel Alfonso, the city manager, said, “If looters can be out there, we can be out there.”
Police in Fort Lauderdale said nine were arrested in connection to a sportswear store burglary. The group, which was filmed by a local news staton, allegedly stole sneakers.
Police Chief Rick Maglione warned people in the statement that “Going to prison over a pair of sneakers is a fairly bad life choice” and residents should instead “Stay home and look after your loved ones and be thankful they are all safe.”
Similar warnings were issued by other police departments across the state. “Any looters who come to Pembroke Pines will be greeted by our officers. Choose wisely and stay home,” wrote the Pembroke Pines Police Department.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office, meanwhile, wrote: “ATTENTION LOOTERS; Every incident will be investigated. Evidence collected will be used to pursue charges after the fact.”
A curfew is in place for Broward County from 7 p.m. Sunday night to 7 a.m. Monday, in part to prevent such criminal acts, WSVN reported.