Looters Arrested in Post-Storm Spree

Abby Ellin
ABC News
Looters Arrested in Post-Storm Spree (ABC News)

While nowhere near post-Hurricane Katrina or Tropical Storm Irene levels, the New York area has had its share of looting in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

According to New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul J. Browne, four women in Far Rockaway, Queens, were arrested Monday after allegedly breaking into a Radio Shack. According to Browne, the women, who ranged in age from 16 to 49, might have been store employees. Radio Shack did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Superstorm Sandy: Full Coverage

On Wednesday, 18 people were arrested for rifling through a Key Foods in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Two men and a woman were arrested for allegedly robbing a BP gas station, and police arrested six people for allegedly looting a liquor store in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, the New York Police Department confirmed in an email to ABC News.

In Manhattan, four men ages 18 to 30 were arrested and charged with burglary after breaking into Kixclusive, a sneaker store at 288 Mulberry Street on the Lower East Side. The store had been burglarized during the height of the storm Monday, boarded up with a piece of plywood and locked. Burglars allegedly made off with 30 pairs of sneakers worth $30,000, about $1,000 a pair, according to the NYPD.

Some looters even posed as Con Edison workers to get inside homes, the New York Post reported.

"This morning when they told us the water receded, I walked back to the house to feed [my pets]," Eric Martine, a 33-year-old taxi cab driver who lives in Brooklyn's Gerritsen Beach, told the Post. "Guys were looting, pretending they were Con Ed and holding people up. It was sick."

Some people have apparently broadcast their loot and looting messages on Twitter - such as the tweeter who posted an image of a boarded-up house with the words "Please loot, I love to shoot" spray-painted across the doorway. Other photos of people with "stolen goods" have been posted on Twitter with the hashtag #sandylootcrew.

But Twitter would not reveal the identity of a suspected ex-Occupy Wall Street protester who had encouraged looting in downtown Manhattan, where there was no power, according to the New York Post. Browne told the Post that Twitter's decision was "not civic-minded, but not surprising either." Twitter did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said there had been no reports of looting in his state. And Newark Mayor Cory Booker tweeted that his city was crime-free: "Police have reported ZERO looting or crimes of opportunity in Newark. And ceaseless reports of acts of kindness abound everywhere #Gratitude."

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to send National Guard troops to Brooklyn to help out. "All of our resources have been stretched to the limit, but in the name of public safety we need to send more National Guard personnel," Markowitz said Wednesday in a statement.

Browne said there had been no murders in New York City since the onset of the storm Monday, but there had been 40 storm-related deaths. Nationwide, the death toll from Sandy has surpassed 90, according to The Associated Press. As of Friday morning, 3,628,739 customers were still without power in the affected states, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Forecasting firm Eqecat estimates that Sandy may have caused between $30 billion and $50 billion in economic losses, including property damage, lost business and extra living expenses. Katrina's costs in 2005 were estimated to be $108 billion-about $128 billion in today's dollars.