Less than a day after the hybrid superstorm known as Sandy struck the northeast, looters and scammers have surfaced. TheBlaze reported on the top five scams that popped up immediately after the storm hit — and how to avoid them, And now comes the looting.
The New York Post is reporting that more than a dozen looters have been arrested following incidents in Coney Island, and the Rockaways sections of the city. In lower Manhattan, looters descended on the tourist area known as the South Street Seaport, helping themselves to merchandise from the stores in the mall.
The Huffington Post’s Crime section is also covering the looting in the southern portion of Brooklyn, reporting tensions are high, fights are breaking out between residents and at least one drug store has been targeted by looters.
The MedaAid Pharmacy claimed that thieves had rummaged through more 10,000 pharmaceutical products and made off with a considerable number of prescription meds.
Gothamist captured some photos of the Brookstone store that was among those victimized by a gang of approximately twelve looters who took advantage of the store’s broken windows early on Tuesday morning.
In addition to the sporadic looting, several reports of scammers hitting the streets of the affected areas are popping up. Fake utility company workers apparently were robbing people in one section of the city, the Post reports. In the past during similar situations, crooks have been reported to extort powerless homeowners by claiming that cash will get their power restored sooner. It won’t. Power is expected to be out for days.
The NYC transit system remains in a crippled state. There is no subway service in the entire city and power is still out to the section of the city below 39th street — for the uninitiated, that covers a critical portion of the city including Wall Street, the financial district, NYU, SOHO, and Penn Station. Amtrak’s northeast corridor remains virtually shutdown north of Newark, NJ.
Because of the transit issues and the closing of water-soaked tunnels, hundreds of thousands of people are trying to drive into the city for work using the few active entrances. This influx of cars is clogging traffic and now putting a strain on the very limited number of gas stations in Manhattan. One friend of TheBlaze reported that lines are quite long at the handful of stations on the small island, and at least one station had already run out of fuel. On top of that, gas prices rose as East Coast ports usually used to import crude oil have been affected.
With the situation in New York changing each day, TheBlaze will monitor and update this story as needed.