Fort Myers, FL – Victims of Hurricane Ian in Florida have had to hire private security to help protect what is left of their homes from looters after the devastating storm last week and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said anyone caught looting by a homeowner should be shot.
Sheriff Judd told FOX News that he’d been down in Fort Myers with Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno after the storm and said that what was left of the area was “total devastation.”
But the sheriff said looters were making the “total devastation” of the area much, much worse and more dangerous for residents and first responders.
Many residents evacuated from the area, which remains with power and water and where many of the roadways remain blocked, leaving their homes empty and ripe for the picking for criminals who have taken advantage of the natural disaster, FOX News reported.
But some people have stayed behind to protect what is left of their homes and belongings as rampant looters prowl the devastated area and Sheriff Judd said they should protect their homes and themselves.
“People have a right to be safe in their homes,” the sheriff said. “They have a right to their property, to be safe even when part of their home maybe torn away.”
“And these looters, that’s unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable,” he continued.
“I would highly suggest that if a looter breaks into your home, comes into your home while you’re there to steal stuff that you take your gun and you shoot him,” Sheriff Judd told FOX News.
“You shoot him so he looks like grated cheese because you know what? That’s one looter that will not break into anyone else’s home and take advantage of them when they’re the most vulnerable and the most weak,” the sheriff added.
Sheriff Judd said he had sent deputies to assist Sheriff Marceno’s force in Lee County to keep the area safe, FOX News reported.
“We’re all gonna come together,” he explained. “The community is gonna come together and if there are looters that think they’re gonna take care of these people, they may be breaking in, but they should be carried out in a pine box because that is unacceptable, that cuts against all laws and all reality.”
“You have a right and your property has a right to be safe and secure in your home, what’s left of it,” the angry sheriff added.
On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced at his morning press conference that three out of the four people who were arrested on charges of looting in Fort Myers after the storm were in the United States illegally, the Daily Mail reported.
“Three of the four are illegal aliens. These are people that are foreigners, they’re illegally in our country. Not only that, they tried to loot and ransack in the aftermath of a natural disaster,” DeSantis ranted from his podium.
“I mean, they should be prosecuted, but they need to be sent back to their home country. They should not be here at all,” the governor said.