DeSantis Sends Warning About ‘This Part of Florida’ After Reports of Hurricane Looting: ‘You Loot, We Shoot’

Republican presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday issued a warning to looters who see the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia as an opportunity. The storm hit Florida’s Big Bend region on Wednesday, with 125 mph winds, downing trees and power lines, smashing homes and leaving floods in its wake. “All hell broke loose,” Florida resident Belond Thomas said, according to the Associated Press. As the cleanup began, DeSantis issued a warning as reports of looting emerged. According to the Tampa Bay Times, 28 people were arrested for looting in hard-hit Lee County alone after Hurricane Ian ripped into Florida last year. “I’ve told all of our personnel at the state level, you know, you protect people’s property,” DeSantis said in a video posted to X, formerly called Twitter. “We are not going to tolerate any looting in the aftermath of a natural disaster. I mean, it’s just ridiculous that you would try to do something like that on the heels of an almost Category 4 hurricane hitting this community,” he said. DeSantis said looters might pay a price they did not expect. [firefly_poll] “I’d also just remind potential looters that you never know what you are walking into, and people have a right to defend their property. This part of Florida, you’ve got a lot of advocates and some proponents of the Second Amendment.” “I’ve seen signs in different people’s yards in the past after these disasters, and I would say it’s probably here, ‘You loot, we shoot,’” he said.
DeSantis said what seems to be an easy target might be a looter’s last target. “You never know what’s behind that door if you go break into somebody’s house and you’re trying to loot, these are people that are going to be able to defend themselves and their families,” he said. “We are going to hold you accountable from a law enforcement perspective at a minimum, and it could even be worse than that, depending on what’s behind that door,” he said, according to the Palm Beach Post. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said that one part of enforcing evacuation orders will be punishing looters, according to Fox News. “One thing that we hear from folks, ‘We want to adhere to the warnings, but we’re concerned that our property may be in jeopardy if we’re not there,’ and that will not be a concern in Florida,” Moody said. “We are a law and order state. We will not take it lightly if folks are looting.” “We want everyone to be in this together to think of each other to help support one another. We do need to be aware that in times of emergency, in these challenging times, there are bad actors  — from those seeking to make a profit off of essential commodities, to those that are waiting in the aftermath to where property is abandoned, and neither will be tolerated.” Moody said she is encouraging police agencies not to allow looters back on the street after being charged, reprising a policy from last year’s aftermath of Hurricane Ian. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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